Friday, October 8, 2010

Pride and Prejudice 1980: A Review

**As with the last post, this is an excerpt for Pride and Prejudice week. Check out the full review at Worthy of Note**

For sheer accuracy to the book, I still maintain that you can't beat the 1995 BBC version, but surprisingly enough there's a contingency of people that prefer an early BBC adaptation from 1980. I honestly have very mixed feelings about this version. Although they did many things correctly--there's a lot to admire--I still feel like it's not as good as it's successor.

Elizabeth Garvie looks the part of Elizabeth Bennett better than any other
actress to take the role, but she lacks the sparkling personality though she's
certainly wise and reflective enough to fit the changes Elizabeth goes through.

Still, as this film remains largely unknown, I feel compelled to give a fairly detailed review. To start with, the opening credits of this miniseries are a delight to watch because they are a scroll over cartoon renditions of scenes from the episode. The cinematography is not very good, but it beats other Austen adaptations of the era substantially. The music also is unremarkable without being bad, and there's not much of it, either.

First let me talk about the Lizzie in this version, played by Elizabeth Garvie. I think she certainly had the look of Elizabeth, but she lacks the animation and cynicism central to the character. Instead we get a very quiet, reflective Miss Bennett, which makes her transition to greater self-awareness and love for Mr. Darcy more plausible than I've seen in any other version. Despite this I cannot get over how much she feels like of a pale imitation of the vivacious character we know and love in the first half of the film, so the performance ultimately falls flat for me.

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