A short review of a long movie, that is.
Saw Pride and Prejudice last nite. I must confess that I have not read the book. I spent a few years during my bus driving days plowing thru the classics, but hey, there are a lot of classics! I consider myself a feminist (even though it's a bit unseemly for a man to be too fire-breathing on the matter, like men picketing at an abortion clinic--though not quite that bad), so I expected the story to resonate for me.
But I really loved the movie. Like reading Shakespeare after a hiatus, it took me a while before I latched onto the dialog patterns, and there were a number of details that eluded me (oh for some subtitles; what a new age fellow am I). Now I'm thinking I ought to read the book, since the story was most engaging and movies always, for obvious reasons, have to leave so much of the book out.
Afterward, I can't help wondering how much of our fascination with these characters comes (again, like Shakespeare) from language, from their perfect expression of sentiments which we all know and understand, but which we are not ourselves so graced to have uttered in anything like this fashion. I'm a whore for a good turn of phrase, and there are so many great zingers here. One literally waits on the edge of one's seat for the clearing of the air between Lizzie and Darcy after so many crossed swords and near-misses. And it comes in such a way that you want to rewind the movie and watch the scene a few times more, not merely for the rather prosaic fact of their getting together, but for how it happens, for the words spoken to arrive at the end you knew, like most every love story, was coming all along.
Keira Nightly, for her featureless body and constrained smile (here trying something other than bacon grease for hair control), is absolutely radiant. (I loved Donald Sutherland too, though in a... different way.)