A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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PRIDE & PREJUDICE
2005 - Joe Wright - United Kingdom / France
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The latest version of Pride & Prejudice is the very best cinematic adaptation to date (even if not the most faithful of its source). Joe Wright's adaptation of Jane Austen's superb classic novel is as rich in cinematic style and detail as it is in themes and emotions. It's such an entertaining film about (as the title would suggest) personal pride and prejudice. However, this is also a story of social issues (including the role of the woman and class divisions), of family, and of course of love. The cast (lead by a vibrant, career-best performance from Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett and a subtle Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett) is outstanding and each character is full of depth. It is the opening few shots (highlighted by a dazzling tracking shot through the Bennett household) that set the tone and mood. In his debut feature talented British filmmaker Joe Wright brings the film alive with radiant period details and elegant camera work (including a heavy use of sweeping crane and tracking shots, as well as an elaborate use of focus changes). While perhaps in a different tone, this does sort of remind me of a way Robert Altman might have adapted Jane Austen's lovely novel. Through long tracking shots, Wright takes us beneath the surface and behind the corridors, and makes us apart of the Bennett family. An endlessly endearing film for all audiences. Pride and Prejudice is a film I have seen this film many times and I will continue to revisit as it warms my heart with joy. I love every little detail of this story and these characters, and the way Wright and his cast brings it alive through a dazzlingly stylish and energetic cinematic style. The filmmaking is masterful, the performances lovely, and the story enriching and romantic. A perfect adaptation of classic literature to film!

Side Note: There is an American-version of the film which adds a rather poorly written scene to the end of the film. This scene was not in the original British release of the film. Maybe the British version ends abruptly but something about the dialogue in the ending of the American version does not feel right in the spirit of the film or Jane Austen. Either way it is not enough to ruin the film, but it's just worth mentioning.
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