10 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: Beware the Ampersand

  1. Re: Mr. FitzWillian Darcy.
    I quote Ann Rutherford (even though she spoke of Mr Collins, it applies) from the 1940 P&P- “What a pudding face.”

  2. This movie was so bad I could hardly get through it the one time I watched it, and you have perfectly expressed why — the director seems to hate everything about the actual story, characters, period, and so on.

    I kept trying to suspend irritation and look for the good bits, but this movie just wore me out with how impossible that was.

    The thing is, I would have forgiven this movie all its faults if it had gotten the early emotional content of the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy correct, but it failed in a way that was so very off that it made me conclude, without knowing, that the director had to be a particular type of man, not a woman, with a particular type of extreme emotional cowardice. We wind up seeing a whiny-boy fantasy version instead of the actual story — we get shown Elizabeth as a sad version of Darcy would want her to be, not as she really is.

    The story just doesn’t work if the director isn’t willing to deal with the reality that for a significant chunk of time, in Elizabeth’s perspective, Darcy is a mildly annoying piece of background she only notices when she has to, while during that same period, Darcy is not only convincing himself he’s in love with her, he is building himself a stalker-fantasy that she is in love with him.

    I do agree with you about getting Jane pretty enough (in most movies I just assume that the current local taste prefers whoever is playing Jane Bennet or Jane Fairfax as the pinnacle of beauty), but I always thought the Greer Garson version did that as well — the actress who played Jane in that version had such exquisite features that she still looked just as beautiful in hairstyles that would make most beautiful women look ugly. On her they just looked pretty.

  3. Loved this! I feel like if you want to do a gritty reboot of Jane Austen, you should adapt something by one of the Bronte sisters, instead. Don’t make something that fans of the original material will hate, and that people who aren’t fans won’t even get.

  4. How did I miss this post the first time around? YES TO ALL OF THIS. Clearly Joe Wright does not understand — did he actually read the book? And Yes to Rosamund Pike as Jane, she is luminous and the first Jane that is actually prettier than Elizabeth. They did a good job casting Bingley also.

    And as much as I love Judi Dench, she’s much too old to be Lady Catherine. Tom Hollander, Donald Sutherland, and Brenda Blethyn are also the wrong ages. They’re all wonderful actors, just the wrong ages.

  5. Loved it, but totally ready to start a shitfight over your ranking of Rosamund Pike as #1 Jane, Susannah Harker is the most gorgeous Jane ever played; she perfectly fitted the standard of beauty and modest manner of the day.

  6. I wanted to look this movie, dearly I wanted – although Keira Knightley is Lizzy Bennet. But it was just too stupid. Mr. Bennet is a beggar (who has 1.000 Pounds per year!) with a 1820s beard and 1770s clothes? All Girls are looking like models from the 2000s, no regency Gentleman would be seduced… And Keira Knightley on top of everything is playing a clever Girl of that period. Never!

  7. Excellent review of the 2005 movie, capturing much of what had me gnashing my teeth. Thank you for putting my speechless frustration into comprehensible English.

    Where did I put my book and my cuppa….

  8. Your review is perfection and I agree with everything. I didn’t realize the ampersand was a conceit. That reminds me of how the Emma that came out this year (2020) was not simply “Emma” because that would be so unoriginal. It was “Emma PERIOD”.

  9. I call this version Pride & Pajama Party, because the people in it spend a large amount of time in their Pjs…

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