Friday, November 11, 2005

One and only

In the context of an odious comparison of the many Pride and Prejudice adapatations...but too good not to post!

Knightley is charming in the new version from director Joe Wright and screenwriter Deborah Moggach (with a rumored assist from Sense and Sensibility's Emma Thompson), but her appeal is Keira's and not Lizzie's.

And that's why Jennifer Ehle, an unknown when she was cast in the 1995 BBC/A&E miniseries, remains the definitive Elizabeth of our time, and perhaps all time. It's because screenwriter Andrew Davies, working from Austen's incomparable template, wrote her that way, along with a Mr. Darcy whose emotions were manifest throughout instead of remaining a mystery until the final denouement. (And that, I contend, is also why Bridget and her contemporaries, both fictional and real-life, swooned over Colin Firth -- not because he's the hunkiest Brit to ever cast a smoldering gaze, but because this was a script that let us girls really see Mr. Darcy yearn and burn.)

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