Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pride and Prejudice Week Special: The 1995 BBC Miniseries, A Response

***As usual, this is an excerpt of a response I did for Alex's blog. to see it in its entirety, go to Worthy of Note ***

Those of you who are regular readers of my blog Seeing Sepia will remember that this adaptation made #1 on my list of Top 10 Most Faithful Movie Adaptations from Novels of All Time. I did not give that award out lightly as a film buff and lover of classic literature. Of course I realize it's not perfect, since no adaptation can be, but I still don't think some of the charges Publius has made against it are entirely fair. Please bear in mind that he esteems it almost as much as I do, and he should by no means be lampooned for daring to find fault with it. It is not my intention to question his right to find fault with it, as indeed he is correct in saying that is overall stellar quality gives us license to concentrate on the minutiae. In that spirit, therefore, I mount my defense.

British-American actress Jennifer Ehle handles the complex character
of Elizabeth Bennett with just the right amount of sweetness and cynicism.
I will start with his slight objection to Jennifer Ehle's portrayal of Elizabeth. In it he says that Elizabeth's cynical streak had been softened somewhat, but I don't think that's so. I think she gives plenty of looks in the film that show just how weary she is of hypocrisy and injustice, especially when Lydia's elopement comes up. Consider during that episode when she hears that Lady Lucas has given assistance several times: "Assistance is impossible and condolence insufferable! Let her triumph over us at a distance and be satisfied!" I think that's about as cynical as you can get. Also, you don't want Lizzie's cynicism to be too prominent, lets she lose the mirth for which we love her.

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