I spent the evening watching The River King, a slow-paced mystery starring Edward Burns and Jennifer Ehle. I liked it so much I may watch it again before I send it back to Netflix. Both Edward Burns and Jennifer Ehle are compelling actors. Based on a novel by Alice Hoffman, the writing is v. good, and there’s a lovely series of epiphanies at the end.
And a non-partisan review of both versions of Pride and Prejudice from barbiedoll73's LJ.
It was with much trepidation that I set about watching the film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice. I absolutely love the novel and feared a dry and long retelling with the 1997 Mini-series, and was even more suspicious of the most recent film. Hollywood has a such a penchant for ruining good stories, but after my father informed me that Pride and Prejudice was the best film he had seen this year, I added them both to my Netflix queue.
Pride and Prejudice Mini-Series 1997
This is not something that can be watched in an evening, unless you are capable of not moving for long periods of time, but it is definitely worth devoting a couple of nights to it.
The story follows the book almost perfectly, but it is not a dry, page by page retelling. The actors are cast perfectly, and they all bring such life and believability to their characters. Jane Austen's wonderful and clever dialog is so fresh and delivered so well that it is hard to believe the book was first published in 1813 (almost 200 years ago!). From his safe, Austen-free study, B kept asking me what was going on, because I literally kept laughing out loud. Some of the best lines are Mr. Bennet's:
"You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least."
"You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley might like you the best of the party."
"You forced me into visiting him last year, and promised if I went to see him, he should marry one of my daughters. But it ended in nothing, and I will not be sent on a fool's errand again."
My only complaint was with the casting of Mr. Wickham and Mr. Collins. The actors played the parts well, but I really pictured Mr. Wickham as being much more handsome. Especially for Elizabeth Bennet to favor him over Mr. Darcy (his personality isn't that great, all he has is some sob story about how Mr. Darcy slighted him, I suppose I just pictured him being at least as good looking as Mr. Darcy, otherwise, what else does he have to offer?). I just kept telling myself that, at that time, in England maybe he was considered better looking... Mr. Collins was just over the top horrible. His long speeches and endless talk of Rosings and Lady Catherine were spot on, and certainly enough to make him completely disagreeable. He was just so greasy and unattractive - who wouldn't turn down his marriage proposal? All though I was amused by the giggles and exasperation he produced in the Bennet girls:
"Lord yes, he's threatened to dance with us all."
Jennifer Ehle is perfectly cast as Elizabeth Bennet. Her face is so expressive - you know exactly what she is thinking without her saying a word. And Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy... I suppose I need not say anything, except that I have developed quite a crush...
Best for last...Zoomeister. Too bad she's already spoken for.
Coming soon, my hilarious campaign to get Jennifer Ehle to marry me. Put more simply, a load of letters i'm going to make up for a big laugh. I shall be putting on my best writing hat, so jimmy me lord!