I finally broke down and rented Pride & Prejudice (1995), the miniseries. I was willed to do so by one of my comfort movies—Bridget Jones’ Diary. (Be forewarned I have a lot of comfort movies that include British accents). Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy makes such an impression in the miniseries, he shows up the Bridget Jones novel/movie.
The length is intimidating, but its five hours goes by faster than expected. Firth doesn’t disappoint as the rich and handsome Mr. Darcy, though he had perfected the snobbish stare better in Bridget Jones (and even better in Girl with a Pearl Earring).
Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet plays up the smugness as in the first half of the movie with her eyes darting back and forth and a tight smile. But she moves on, as does Elizabeth, and she won me over with her sparing matches with Firth.
The good thing for me is, apparently, I have an inability to remember the plotline of the story. I have read the novel and seen Keira Knightley’s version and still was surprised by the miniseries. The ridiculousness of her mother and sisters and a gratuitous use of the word “indeed” made more of an impact on me this time around.
But the essential goodness of Jane Austen survives well in the series—the importance of romantic love and the impact of class in one’s destiny. I recommend it. Indeed, I would.