Tag Archives: Victorian Age

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

19 Dec

pride and prejudice 2005 cover Director – Joe Wright
Elizabeth BennetKeira Knightley
Mr. Darcy – Matthew Macfadyen


My goal is to be as thorough as possible when watching these adaptations so I watch the movie twice, once just watching and once with the director’s commentary.   I also watched all of the extras on the Bluray Disc version of the movie and cross referenced the DVD to make sure I didn’t miss any.  So I will split this up into three parts, the film itself, the director’s commentary, and the extras.

The Pride and Prejudice (2005) Drinking Game

When we watched the movie we decided to make a drinking game out of it.  In order to remember when to drink we had to cut down some of them but here were our original rules.

Drink for the following:

  • Mrs. Bennet mentions anything about her nerves.
  • You want to punch Lydia in the face.
  • Anything Lady Catherine says anything that causes you to audibly yell “Bitch”.
  • Any time someone curtseys (a drink for each person, so if all five Bennet sisters curtsey that’s five drinks).
  • Mr. Collins mentions Lady Catherine.
  • Any time any character plays a piano.
  • A proposal of marriage occurs.
  • Any time a character is reading a book.
  • Anytime you see a fuck ton of ribbons.
  • You see a loose animal inside the Bennet Home.

Pour one out:

  • When Charlotte Lucas marries Mr. Collins.

Feature film

This is the only version of Pride and Prejudice I will have seen prior to starting all this blog business.  I was working at a movie theater at the time it came out which means I could see any film for free.  So I think I might have seen this movie at least 5 times in the theater when it came out.  So in other words I am pretty familiar with it.  This is the first time I have seen it though since reading the book so I was able to take in any differences and read in between the lines on a few of the scenes.

The film is great.  I think all the actors and actresses did an amazing job and embodied their characters very well.  From the awkwardness of Mary and Mr. Collins to the casting of Knightley and Macfadyen as Elizabeth or Darcy everyone was top notch.  Pride & Prejudice purest prefer Colin Firth as Darcy, from the 1990’s miniseries (which I haven’t seen) so we’ll have to compare when we get there.  In particular Judi Dench was fucking nails as Lady Catherine de Bourg.  When I imagine in my mind of Lady Catherine the image of Judi Dench is automatic, she just owns that part.  The only other actress that I think does as good of a job as playing an evil bitch lady is Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.  Both women own their parts so much that you get a physically angry when you see them on screen.  I really liked Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennet as well as Talulah Riley as Mary Bennet.

The cinematography is also great in this film.  I think Joe Wright does a wonderful job on some of the outdoor scenes, you really get a sense of scale and contrast when they shoot the outside shots.  So much of the movie takes place indoors its good to see how grand all these places really are.  I also really enjoyed the ball room scenes where it is this chaotic jumble and you get to see several perspectives of characters at the same time.  The movie is a solid two hours long but I feel like it moves at a pretty good pace.  You feel the effect of time as some of the characters deal with feelings but it keeps the momentum of the film moving.

Comparing to the book the film shorten a lot of what happened in order to have it all fit in a two hour film.  In the book when they travel it’s all ways for a few weeks at a time.  You don’t quite get the impression of that in the film.  They never give specifics on the passage of time so for all we know the film takes place over a couple of weeks or years.  I don’t really care that they shortened some of the trips.  Honestly Elizabeth’s stay at Rosings in the book felt like it lasted forever and I think the movie did a great job of distilling its essence in a few scenes.  The only criticism I have of the film deal with the whole Wickham incident.  I don’t think they could have cut out his relationship to Darcy since it is the catalyst that brings Elizabeth and Darcy together, however I don’t feel they did a good job of explaining his and Darcy’s relationship.  They just say in the movie he was engaged to Darcy’s sister and broke it off leaving her heart broken when in the book he had boarder line kidnaped her and was on the verge of eloping.  It all just comes across as muddled and you don’t get the full effect of Darcy and Wickham’s hate.  To me this lessened the impact of the rain scene where Darcy proposes and Elizabeth rejects him.  The Wickham situation was her biggest basis of hating him.  It’s still a great scene and they do a great job of acting during it but if you have only seen the film I could see it being confusing of why she’s so mad at him.  There were some other changes here and there in the film but over I think they were generally made for time and that it didn’t really affect the core of the story.

Favorite Scenes:

  • One not in the book scene I loved was the hangover scene after the ball at Netherfield.  You know that people must have been getting shitfaced even in 18th century so it’s great to see even proper ladies feeling the morning after effect.
  • I really like the outdoor scene when Elizabeth is walking to Netherfield.  The lighting is just gorgeous and looks amazing on bluray.
  • I really like the super long fork things the servants use to place food on the table.
  • The ending scene with the whole “Mrs. Darcy” part is great.
  • All most every scene with Mary
  • Every scene with Mr. Collins
  • The scene with Mr. Bennet as Elizabeth is convincing him to let her marry Mr. Darcy.

IMDB Trivia (All this information comes from the trivia section of IMDB)

I love the trivia parts of IMDB.  If you have never looked at this stuff before I suggest it.

  • At the beginning of the movie, Elizabeth is shown reading a novel titled “First Impressions” – this was Jane Austen’s original title of her novel before she altered it to “Pride and Prejudice”. Additionally the text of the visible pages is readable when paused; it is the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice, with names changed.
  • Georgiana Darcy did her own piano playing in the film.
  • Rosamund Pike was Joe Wright’s first choice for the role of Jane. She turned down the role of Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for this film.
  • Keira Knightley was preparing for her role in Domino while she was filming this, and had already cut her hair. She had to wear a wig during the last few weeks of filming and long sleeves to hide her muscles.
  • The actresses who make up the Bennett family (Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Talulah Riley, and Carey Mulligan went to the Bennett house location, in Kent, before the crew, and played Sardines (similar to Hide and Seek in America) in order to get better acquainted with the house and each other before filming began. (That game again!!! Its in everything!)

Directors Commentary

The director’s commentary was so-so.  Since it’s only the director the commentary is mostly about how this was short or how conditions were filming on this day.  If you are super into Pride and Prejudice then you might enjoy it but otherwise I wouldn’t really bother.

Fun Facts learned during the commentary:

  • The blackbird is representative of Elizabeth and when we hear one on screen it’s only during scenes involving Elizabeth.
  • My favorite shot of Elizabeth walking to Netherfield was CGI.
  • During the ball scene we learn that there is no toilet for ladies at a ball.  If a lady had to go to the bathroom they would just go home for the night.  Guys on the other hand would sneak out to take a leak in the woods.  Which knowing that would making getting drunk at the ball difficult knowing you had to hold it in afterward the rest of the night.
  • The director had Mary play her part as being in love with Mr. Collins.  This was a cool perspective of Mary who would actually probably have gotten along really well with Mr. Collins.  You only see it in her expressions but it’s a nice little add in there.
  • This was first film for both Carey Mulligan (Kitty) and Talulah Riley (Mary).

These seem like cool tidbits but trust me, just read the trivia section of IMDB, it’s not worth watching the whole directors commentary.


I’m watching the Bluray/DVD combo version of the film so I assume the separate Bluray and DVD versions of the film are these same versions.

Conversations With The Cast

  • Same as at the ball behind the scenes on DVD version, it just has a bunch of interviews of the cast and some behind the scenes

Jane Austen, Ahead of Her Time

  • Talks about Bridget jones and bride and prejudice
  • Discussed how Jane Austen only wrote about her own observation of society and class.  This again helps to explain how the lower classes are non-existent.
  • You can visit Jane Austen’s home in England.
  • The prince regent requested she dedicated Emma to him.  I thought this part was really interesting, I mean how arrogant does a person have to be to demand someone dedicate a book after them.

A Bennett Family Portrait

  • Mostly cut from scenes on the other behind the scenes featurettes, no new information.

Pride & Prejudice: HBO First Look

  • Mostly cut from the behind the scenes interviews that we see in other featurettes.
  • They mentioned how the cast visited the set/home of the Bennet family which was an existing house in England.  They came before the camera crews set up so they got to see it in its natural state.  While there they played a game called “sardines”, I’ve never heard of it but it’s mentioned in like 4 separate featurettes and in the directors commentary as well. It must be a British thing.

The Politics of 18th Century Dating

  • Kind of lame, just talks about how dancing was important to dating.

The Stately Homes of Pride and Prejudice

  • You get to look at all the houses from the movie, yay!

Pride and Prejudice Book III: Pride Hard With A Vengeance

8 Oct

. . . and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!

So I may have said that the last volume of the book was the section where shit goes down, so this section I would say is the section where more shit goes down but not as much as the section before.

We start off with our hero, Elizabeth, generally feeling kind of shitty for the way she treated Mr. Darcy on learning that Mr. Wickham wasn’t the badass she had first thought.  She goes on a trip to the countryside with her Aunt and Uncle and go on tours of huge houses around the area, which is something you could just do in those days.  Elizabeth’s Aunt suggests going to Pemberley (home of Mr. Darcy!) and Elizabeth not wanting to blow her cover accepts and to Pemberley they go.

I thought this was weird.  They just go to Pemberley and the house keeper, who doesn’t know any of them, just lets them right on in and gives them a grand tour of the place.  Elizabeth knows Mr. Darcy and they mention that but still the housekeeper doesn’t know that and for all she knows they are stealing silverware when she’s not looking.  It’s weird.

So they learn that Mr. Darcy isn’t there and won’t be there till the next day.  Elizabeth is relieved in that she’s still embarrassed for yelling at him and knowing she won’t see him she can relax and take in all that is Mr. Darcy’s home.   She starts to semi day dream how she could have been the mistress of the house and you begin to see her fall for Darcy for the first time.  Then out of nowhere Darcy arrives at his home early! Elizabeth freaks the fuck out and says all most nothing to him.  Darcy is super nice and shows her and her Aunt and Uncle around the place.

I was a little disappointed in Elizabeth, she’s shown herself a strong black woman so far and she pussys out completely in front of Darcy.  She could have apologized then and there, or made any mention that she believes he was right in his judgment of Wickhams character.  Instead she kind of blushes a lot and Mr. Darcy, I can only assume, still thinks she hates him.  She had just been remorse that she might not ever see him again and be able to make things right, but when presented with the chance to do just that she doesn’t.

Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle leave and stay at a nearby inn.  They receive a letter at the inn from Jane that lets them know that Lydia has ran off with Mr. Wickham and are living in sin.  Mr. Darcy visits them right after and Elizabeth is distraught, tells him what has happened before they leave to go to back home to sort this out.

The details are a little tedious but basically without telling anyone but Elizabeth’s Aunt and Uncle, Mr. Darcy pays all of Mr. Wickham’s debts and a large sum of money in order to convince him to marry Lydia, which he eventually does.  Elizabeth learns that it was Darcy who paid Wickham off and falls even more in love with him knowing he saved their family from disgrace.  Once all that is settled we get the greatest Victorian age verbal smack downs in the book when out of nowhere Lady Catherine comes to Longbourn and tells Elizabeth that she isn’t to marry Mr. Darcy.  Elizabeth tells her to fuck right off and the result has the opposite effect Lady Catherine had intended since now Elizabeth is sure Mr. Darcy still loves her.

Mr. Bingley comes back to Netherfield and him and Jane pick back up and he eventually proposes to Jane.  Darcy visits Bingley Netherfield and during a walk that him and Elizabeth have in which they manage to get some alone time he tells her he’s still in love with her and she tells him she loves him.  They get engaged and eventually married and the other loose ends are tied up in the epilogue.

Besides the bitch out Victorian equivalent of a real house wives throw the table moment between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth most of the action feels on the decline in this part of the book.  It feels funny to say that seeing as one of the daughters ran off with a man and caused a lot of scandal but all of the dealings with that were mostly off screen.  We just got letters and so forth from Mr. Gardiner about what was happening and it eventually worked out.  As soon as Bingley got back to Netherfield it was pretty obvious him and Jane would get be engaged pretty quickly.  After Elizabeth found out that Darcy paid for her sister to get married she was pretty much in for him and all the two of them needed was an open discussion on the matter to seal the deal.

This is another part I am a little disappointed in Elizabeth’s actions toward Mr. Darcy.  When Lady Catherine comes to her house to tell her not to marry Darcy she straight up tells her if he asks she would say yes.  She stands up to Lady Catherine who is of higher class in order to do so which is a big no no.  However she still can’t bring herself to say anything to Mr. Darcy.  If he hadn’t have told her that he still was in love with her they would have never got together.  She seemed intent on not bringing up the subject of even thanking him for what he did for Lydia (all though she wasn’t supposed to know).  Mr. Darcy had even been to dinner with their family and Mrs. Bennet acted like an asshole to him (he had just helped their family out a ton but she didn’t know all thought Elizabeth did) and Elizabeth just let her.  She didn’t stick up for him at all when he was being insulted by her own family right in front of her face.  I guess it was her being lady-like by not saying anything but Elizabeth really should have told Darcy something on the lines of apology for what she said about him and Wickham even if she wasn’t going to bring up the help he had provided for her family.

I was also disappointed in Mr. Bennet in this section of the book as well.  So far he’s been one of my favorite characters with his witty statements and disinterest in his daughters getting married.  He provides a great balance to his wife who thinks about nothing but her daughters getting married.  However when Lydia runs away with Mr. Wickham he is utterly useless in doing anything.  He goes to England where he believes they are in order to convince them to get married but after a few days can’t handle it and makes his brother in law handle the situation for him.  During all of the dealings that had to be made to pay Wickham to convince him to marry Lydia he has no part of it.  He goes from being one of our heroes of wit and humor to being fairly useless in a time of need.

So overall I liked the book, if I were to rate it I would give it 4 out of 5.  It’s language and style reflect the time period it was made, and even though this was all most two hundred years ago it still it’s easy to become engrossed in the story.  I’m pretty excited to say the least I didn’t hate this book and then would be spending the next god knows how long going through adaptation after adaptation.  If I did have one complaint it would  be the treatment of lower class citizens in this book.  They are basically non-existent or they are portrayed as completely content with their station in life.  I’ll go into more detail about this later but for all the analysis between the upper and middle class and destruction the class divide brings we don’t hear about the lower classes at all.  But it’s a small complaint and the story isn’t about the struggle of the lower classes it’s a love story so I get it not being in there.  Any ways now that I’ve gone through the original book it will be time to start going through the adaptations!