03 June 2013

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Even though my very first P&P experience was the film starring Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, my second was the miniseries starring Colin Firth (yum) and Jennifer Ehle... and I count that one as the true first since it's so closely connected to the novel.

If I'm being totally honest... I didn't get a chance to watch the series last month what with the cross country move, starting a new job, and adjusting to life back in the Midwest. But as I've watched it regularly for the last 10 years, I can manage a suitable review.

The strength in the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries lies in its close adaptation to the book with a few nuances for the viewing audience. It captures the beauty of the English country life, the period clothing, as well as boasting a stellar cast. Colin Firth is an excellent, sexy, stoic Darcy, while Jennifer Ehle achieves the constant smirk I imagine Lizzy always having on her face when I picture her character.

However, there are a few weaknesses with this series, namely the character of Mrs. Bennett being a caricature rather than a person with dimension. She's obnoxious without the human side for people to understand she's simply doing her job. Mr. Collins is one dimensional but that was always the point. Other issues are the age inaccuracies of the characters, as well as the physical description interpretations.

What I mean by that is.... IMHO, Lizzy is much prettier than Jane! Everyone in the film does a great job acting, but Jane is supposed to be a beauty and I just don't see it. Even Charlotte Lucas is more fetching than Jane.

Finally, I know certain die hards take issue with the soaked Darcy emerging from the trees-- it's a little too much sex or some such nonsense. Firth is hot, Darcy is one of the sexiest characters in literature, and the filmmakers just wanted to create a visual for the women who've enjoyed the man in their imaginations for years. Lighten up and enjoy the view!

Have you seen the 1995 miniseries? What are your thoughts on the sexy scene with Darcy: does it cheapen the story or add to it?


  1. My first Jane Austen/P&P experience was Kiera Knightley's P&P. Although not the best adaption of the book, it is a stunning movie and completly turned me onto Jane Austen, which I'm thankful for.

    Love your review! I agree with everything you said. The lake scene is fun! Why not? I need to watch the earlier miniseries. Have you seen it?

    1. I've tried multiple times to watch that miniseries and can't get past the cinematography. I know that was the style in the 80's but it doesn't hold my attention. I've seen the Lawrence Olivier film though, which is by far the WORST adaptation ever... but still fun to watch.

    2. I think I'd have a problem with the cinematography too, which is why I don't watch BBC series from the '80s. I tried watching Anne of Avonlea, from 1987 and couldn't get past the first 5 minutes. Guess we can just stick with Colin Firth:)