Best Jane Austen Movie


Jane Austen’s novels have suffered some tepid and subdued movie productions. Yes, I must say the earlier versions made by the BBC were made with the usual British reserve and well, boring.

Jane Austen wrote six of the most read novels of all time. This is impressive owing to the fact that women of the time were thought somewhat scandalous if they pursued a writing career. Jane was a prolific writer of the times . To produce six classic novels by the age of 42 would be a feat for any author. Unfortunately, her passing at that early age deprived us of more of her insightful novels.

All of her novels have been made into movies of varying quality. The movies are:

1. Pride and Prejudice

2. Sense and Sensibility

3. Persuasion

4. Mansfield Park

5. Northanger Abbey

6. Emma

The two best movies by far, are Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. The Pride and Prejudice (2005) version has an excellent cast with dynamic scenes, as well as truly inspired performances. The screenplay by Deborah Moggach has more depth than earlier versions and Joe Wright’s direction is top notch.

The plot revolves around the Bennet’s, a family of modest means and five daughters. Set in Victorian England, it tells the chattel like existence of women of the era, fathers and suitors having control over the female population. The story revolves around the convoluted courtship of Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy and the mistakes they both make in judging each other’s character.

The second plot line is Jane Bennet’s seemingly unrequited love for Mr. Bingley. They are both shy and their affections for each other remain through their trials and tribulations.

What makes this version of Pride and Prejudice is Keira Knightley’s mercurial performance as Lizzie Bennet. She is a true gem in the making. Her scenes with Judi Dench (Lady De Bourg) are mesmerizing in their fierceness and intensity. This alone makes this a must see movie.

Donald Sutherland (Mr. Bennet) who portrays Lizzie’s father, gives one of the best performances of his career. His nuanced scenes with Lizzie are memorable.

Mr. Darcy, (Matthew Macfadyen) Lizzie’s tortured lover is equally captivating. He portrays a social bumbler with true awkwardness. His scenes with Lizzie are a testament to his talent. He loses his shyness when Lizzie tweaks his temper as she usually manages to do. He then comes across with a controlled anger which makes for an intense performance.

Yes, the supporting cast pulls their weight with fine performances. They in fact provide layered and richly balanced performances to make the film even more memorable as a classic.

Pride and Prejudice is a totally enthralling movie. You will greatly admire Lizzie’s spunk and independence, and Mr. Darcy’s pursuit of the one who has captured his heart. The captivating ending, is a Jane Austen masterpiece. Even the most stolid of men will shed a tear or two, and women will dream of their Mr. Darcy. You might even fall in love with love.

Source by Dirk Bristol

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