Monday, July 11, 2011

Movie of the Week – Pride & Prejudice

This week’s movie is Pride & Prejudice (2005).

The romance, based on the Jane Austen novel, is about Elizabeth Bennet, a young spirited girl who meets Mr. Darcy. She finds him to be pompous and rude and yet there is spark between them. While the film at heart is a romance, it is also a feminist text – as Elizabeth Bennet is a strong female character with wit and a striving for something better for herself, not to just be the subject of a man’s affection and will. First-time director Joe Wright (who has since made Atonement and Hanna, both are also excellent) does masterful work on the film. He uses a very kinetic camera and many long fluid shots to bring excitement and sense of atmosphere to his scenes. He also garners great performances and uses langue quite well in the narrative (and he is working with great source material). Composer Dario Marianelli’s score is wonderful combining his own work with classic piano pieces that were customary for the time. Roman Osin’s cinematography is beautiful. His use of natural light is outstanding and creates such a lovely aesthetic. Sarah Greenwood’s production design is also very good, as she allows the film to feel grounded in reality but also for the lead actors to remain stunning (which can also be credited to Osin) holding up the genre standard (Greenwood and Marianelli received Oscar nods). The cast is phenomenal across the board. It stars Keira Knightley (who received an Oscar nod) and Matthew Macfadyen, and supporting work from Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Carey Mulligan, Talulah Riley, Donald Sutherland, Brenda Blethyn, Claudie Blakley, Simon Woods, Kelly Reilly, Rupert Friend, Tom Hollander, and Judi Dench. The film is a wonderful piece of cinema with brilliant aesthetic work, performances and directing. It is a must see of fans of romances and period films. Check out the trailer.

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Streaming, and to Rent

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