Okay, you know the DVD menu? I keep opening it to the "Bonus Features" so I can hear the bone-chillingly good music there. The music on the main menu and scene selections drives me up the fucking wall, however. And in other news, I've actually purchased a copy of this movie. I don't know if I'll ever receive it, because my post office doesn't know that I'm back in Memphis for the summer and is still forwarding my mail to my home town, so who knows? But why pay for a Netflix subscription, which is pretty expensive, if all I do is keep the same movie month after month? It was only eleven bucks, too. Anyhoodle.
Previously, on Pride and Prejudice: OMG! Serious discussion in the comments!
Longbourn. Mrs. Bennet runs to the door to meet Keira, who is in a serious funk, and strips off her obvious man-coat while fondly greeting her. Since when is Keira Mrs. Bennet's favorite daughter? Well, since now, I guess.
Poor, sad, cheerful little Jane. I can't really imagine her slicing up demons in Doom.
In the drawing room, the newly returned Jane is keeping a stiff upper lip, and claiming that she is totally over Bingley, and OMG London was soooo cool, anyway. My, Rosamund Pike has a deep voice. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'. She's a bass. "London is so diverting," she says, smiling, and when Keira begins to protest, she exclaims, "It's TRUE!" She smiles, but her facade begins to crack, and it does not escape Keira's notice. Aww. Poor, sad, cheerful little Jane. I can't really imagine her slicing up demons in Doom. Jane asks what happened in Kent, and Keira lies that nothing happened.
In through the door bursts her little sisters. Kitty is crying, Lydia is crowing over her, and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Basically, Lydia has been invited to go to Brighton, and Kitty has not. Cue the waterworks. Mrs. Gardiner, Keira's aunt, says, "Let's all go!" for some stupid fucking reason.
Reading Room of Refuge. No, that was the miniseries. Well, Donald Sutherland's oft-invaded library. Keira is confronting her father, and I don't really understand the direction here. She's sitting at his feet. As far as body-language goes, that's not very confronty. "Liddy [sic] will never be easy until she's exposed herself in some public place or other," Donald says, and I think he means that literally. No doubt Lydia would seek out the Regency equivalent of a Girls Gone Wild film crew, and show her pride. Keira komplains that she will be fixed, determined flirt, etc. "[Keira], we shall have no peace until she goes," Donald Sutherland mumbles. "Peace. Is that really all you care about?" Keira says. Emmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Donald Sutherland looks uneasy, but he almost always looks uneasy, and mumbles that the family Lydia will be staying with will look after her, and she doesn't have any money for anyone to marry her for, so she'll be peachy. "Father, it's dangerous!" Keira exclaims. Emmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (Twice in one scene!) Donald Sutherland continues with the justification and the denial, and Keira walks out in a huff. Donald Sutherland considers a dragonfly impaled on a pin. I don't get the symbolism. No doubt it's something phallic; all symbolism is phallic somehow.
So; remember how Mrs. Bennet said her daughters didn't cook? This scene shows Keira in the kitchen, cooking. Naturally. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner invite her to go on vacation with them, to visit the Peak District. The Gardiners are what you call "nice folks": not at all good-looking, reasonably nice, responsible. They are also really into eating and Darbyshire, to an absurd degree, and their only role in this movie is to provide exposition. "The glories of nature. What are men compared to rocks and mountains?" Mary says. Hey, it sounds like she wants to go. Invite her! Keira fumes over the herbs she is arranging that men are either a) arrogant, like Darcy, or b) stupid, like Mr. Collins, or c) so nice that their asshole friends boss them around, like Bingley. "Oh, take care, my love, that savors strongly of bitterness," Mrs. Exposition warns. If she smacks down Keira every time she's emo, I'll like her a lot.
The letter is supposed to change her; she's supposed to learn and grow, and one thing she learns is that there is no one bad guy on whom she can blame every disappointment.
A digression. This scene underlines what I don't like about the way Elizabeth Bennet is portrayed in this movie. Giving Mary Elizabeth's line is nothing short of canon-rape, really. In the book, Elizabeth is depressed after Darcy proposes to her, but when she is invited to go on vacation, she is the one to exclaim, "What are men to rocks and mountains?" She's excited, she's willing to have fun. The bitterness she spouts here came at a different point entirely in the novel, when she realizes that she can't have a future with Wickham because he's too poor, and, very notably, is before she reads Darcy's letter. The letter is supposed to change her; she's supposed to learn and grow, and one thing she learns is that there is no one bad guy on whom she can blame every disappointment. There's just bad luck, and mistakes, and embarrassing family members who mean well, and the occasional bad apple that comes along. Elizabeth, in this version, is a static character because of this. The only thing that changes is her opinion of Darcy. The director, in his commentary, mentions that JA once called Pride and Prejudice "too light and sparkling," and said he wanted to remedy that, but the only alternative he provides to light and sparkles is emo; and Jane Austen was NEVER emo.
However, I am aware that on LJ it isn't an opinion unless it's expressed in a 100x100 jpg image appropriate to be used as an icon:
Perhaps these images speak more eloquently than I can.
The girl's bedroom. The Bennets live in this big house; why are Jane and Keira still sleeping in the same bed? Keira, staring at the ceiling, whispers that she saw Mr. Darcy. "Why did you not tell me?" Jane asks, without looking at her. Keira is about to reply, and Jane continues, "Did he mention Mr. Bingley?" "No," Keira says, a single emo tear running down her cheek, and she blows the candle out. Now, THAT I liked, except for the emo tear; I don't agree with the director that Jane and Lizzie's relationship in the book was too schmaltzy or whatever word he used, but this is a brilliant decision for the movie. Keira's reticence saves us from a tedious scene rehashing what we just saw - a Screenwriting 101 no-no - and adds a bit of conflict, which is always good. Also, it makes perfect sense. Why should Keira bring up things that will only hurt Jane's feelings, if Armando Broom has already left town and there's little chance of her meeting Darcy again? Bravo.
What are men compared to largish boulders and somewhat steep hills?
Uterus cam. For that is what I took the red stuff to be. Actually, it's the innerside of Keira's eyelids. She's sitting with her eyes closed in the carriage, and the light plays through her skin. That must have been difficult to shoot, getting the camera in her sockets and all.
After being hauled from Hertfordshire to Darbyshire, all the while refusing to open her eyes, Keira finds herself on the peaks. Eh. I just can't be impressed, and no wonder. I looked it up, and the highest mountain in this part of England is 2,086 feet. Near where I live, the Apallachian Mountains average 3,000 ft, and the Cumberland Plateau isn't much smaller. They're tiny compared to Pikes Peak (14,110 ft), where I've also been; and all of that is dwarfed by the Grand Canyon. Really, am I supposed to be blown away by a fifty-foot cliff? What are men compared to largish boulders and somewhat steep hills?
Well, at least the soundtrack is excited by the scenery.
Big freaking tree. "Where exactly are we?" asks Keira languidly, snacking on an apple. The adults inform her that she's near Pemberley, which they want to visit. Mr. Exposition mentions something about the lake being well-stocked. Keira pleads not to go, and stutters that Darcy's so ... so ... "He's so rich!" she finally finishes, though that is not what she meant at all. "By heavens, [Keira], what a snob you are," Mr. Exposition says. "Objecting to poor Mr. Darcy because of his wealth? The poor man can't help it." ARE WE ON OPPOSITE PLANET? OF COURSE HE COULD HELP IT! Mrs. Exposition, unlike her husband, does not feel the need to avoid discrimination against the rich, and perpetuates the unjust stereotype that rich people are never home anyways. Keira looks as confused as I feel.
The statue is ingenuously made; if you don't look closesly her face becomes a blank Dementor-style gaping maw. I'm House of Wax-level creeped out, here.
Interesting introduction to Pemberley: no soundtrack, just the sound of ducks swimming in the artificial lake in front of it. Keira hauls herself out of the carriage, looks petulantly at the house, giggles, sucks her lips over her disconcertingly pointy teeth, and takes off. Ooookay? Mr. and Mrs. Exposition pop into the shot, to display their lack of acting skills.
The foyer is a chess board. Keira dwadles, examining the ceiling's elaborate painting of heavenly bodies intertwined, bare bosoms and buttocks displayed right and left, as the sinners are dragged to their eternal torment in hell. Or something. Not sure what the subject of the painting is. I'm beginning to get a little queasy.
But, no, that's not the worst of it. We must visit the statuary! And, oh my god, there's a statue of a woman with a veil over her face. It's ingenuously made; the veil looks like you could pull it off and wear it yourself, yet it's made of stone; and also really creepy. Her features are hidden, and if you don't look closesly her face becomes a blank Dementor-style gaping maw. Keira gazes at the that, enraptured, then at the tortured face of a writhing Roman soldier, and the camera pans lovingly over marble chests, and necks, and thighs, and sinuous bare backs and bottoms. I'm House of Wax-level creeped out, here. In the background, you can hear the housekeeper praising Darcy's virtues, incidentally, but that is kept quiet because Darcy's character isn't as important as the fact that he is really fucking rich.
Oh, and instead of a portrait? Darcy has a bust. Yes, he sat for his sculpturing, after importing a hunk of marble. Hell, anybody can have their portrait painted. If you're really rich, you go for bronze and wax, and if you're REALLY fucking rich, you use stone. Or mosaics. It's like having an endangered species in your front yard: it's a status symbol! Anybody can buy a dog; buy a white tiger! Unfortunately, it's just Darcy's head, not a full Michaelangelo David-style pose, which would enable us to judge Keira's admiration for him pretty quickly.
The older adults and the tour guide join Keira in examining Darcy's exalted head. Mrs. Exposition asks Keira if it's realistic, and the tour guide tries to get the juicy details, but Keira isn't forthcoming with them. She does agree that Darcy is good-looking. Quickly bored, the tour guide shows them a statue of Georgiana, and though I can't see at what she's pointing, it appears to be in the same place as the nude statue of a reclining woman. That must have been an interesting sitting. I wonder if Armando Broom likes art? Keira's eyes are fixed on the floating upper half of Darcy. After a long moment she asks if Georgiana is at home, a question she should have asked earlier, but by the time she asks, the older adults and the tour guide are nowhere around. They already forgot about her. No, they hate her and are trying to abandon her. That's it.
Darcy soulfully agrees. I'll get a new adjective when he gets a new expression.
Keira takes the abandonment of the tour guide as an implicit invitation to wander through the living quarters of the house. See, this house is a terrible place to live. Not only are there tours coming through at unexpected times, the guests can wonder away and stick their nose into your business. Any moment now, Keira will open a closet and find all of Darcy's ex-wives. Keira touches everything, too, running her hands over a Janus statue. Keira, you realize that your hands produce oils that will eventually ruin the artwork?
Gradually the sound of the piano reaches her; and Keira, who's acting has nearly degenerated to the half-gesture variety, decides that it's a good idea to spy on the player, whose childish head is bobbing over the keyboard. She's a good player, too; at least she puts Keira's skillz to shame. The girl abruptly stops playing and leaps into Darcy's arms, who chuckles and spins her around. Keira looks surprised. Why in hell, I know not, for this is OBVIOUSLY Darcy's sister Georgiana; moreover, we already knew that she was fifteen and could play the piano well and that Darcy liked her. So, nothing's much surprising. Except that Darcy sees Keira spying at the door.
Keira runs out of the house. Nice boots, Keira! And though she's running at a fair clip, Darcy manages to overtake her at a stroll, like those slow-moving zombies in horror flicks who are, nontheless, always RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
Keira, breathing heavily, says "I thought you were in London." "No," Darcy says, soulfully. Well, then! They are awkward, but what would you expect? They start to speak at the same time, then leave off. Keira blurts out that she's touring with her aunt and uncle. Darcy nods, staring at her soulfully. "And are you having a ... pleasant trip?" Darcy asks, somewhat desperately. Hee hee. Keira says they are, mentions that they're going to Matlock tomorrow. Darcy, with this near deadline hanging over his head, quickly gets the name of their hotel, in Lambton. Keira apologizes for rudely intruding on his privacy, and wondering away from the tour guide, and disregarding the "Please Do Not Touch The Exhibits" sign. She's the worst museum guest ever. Darcy soulfully asks if he can take her back to the village, considering that her aunt and uncle appear to have abandoned her. Keira refuses, making it a comment about how she loves to walk, and Darcy soulfully agrees. I'll get a new adjective when he gets a new expression. Keira can't stand the awkwardness, and curtsies and escapes. Hey, maybe you should have taken him up on his offer; it's five miles to Lambton. The Expositions were quite determined to be rid of her for good.
"There's something pleasant about his mouth when he speaks." That would be the fruit-punch.
After a detour by a yonic ruin, Keira walks into the pub/hotel/inn thing; she looks rather fresh for having walked five miles. Also, the inn seems really busy for such a place serving a tiny town with little tourist movement through it. Keira sees Darcy talking to her relatives and hides in the cloakroom. WTF? I guess Darcy was so upset by the way they parted he got into his carriage, drove past her, leaving her in a cloud of dust, found the inn, and talked up her relatives who were, no doubt, about to make their grand escape. Now he's leaving without waiting to see Keira. Are we sure he likes her? As soon as Darcy is gone, Keira joins them to hear Darcy praised to the skies. "You didn't tell us you'd seen him!" Mrs. Exposition exclaims. That's because you abandoned your niece at his house, dimwit. He's invited them over tomorrow. "There's something pleasant about his mouth when he speaks," Mrs. Exposition says. That would be the fruit-punch. "He particularly wants you to meet his sister!" Mrs. Exposition says. "His sister," Keira repeats, gnawing on a finger. Yes, his sister, the girl you saw playing the piano, Georgiana Darcy, etc.
Georgiana plays the piano. I like this part because it's easy to recap. Complaint: why do the casting people always fall into the temptation to cast Georgiana as a mousy little thing, when, unless my Austen-fu is off, she is described as being "was tall, and on a larger scale than Elizabeth; and, though little more than sixteen, her figure was formed, and her appearance womanly and graceful," which seems to put her in quite a different light. Just a question. Georgiana can play like Darcy can fall asleep standing up, but she can't help getting distracted in the middle of the piece and running over to greet Elizabeth. She has unkempt hair; I guess that's a sign of her youth. Georgiana and Darcy banter and are cute, if dorky. Keira tells Georgiana that Darcy "once had to put up with my playing," and Georgiana is confused: "But he says you play so well!" Darcy laughs and corrects her that he said "quite well," which satisfies Keira but is still a huge exaggeration. Then the three just look at each other.
Darcy, who has always been more polite than Keira, remembers his manners and begins talking to the Expositions, who have been hanging alone at the back of the room, envying the young people and their fast friendships and cursing their debilitating age. Darcy proposes that he and Mr. Exposition kill fish. Georgiana wants to know if Keira plays duets. "Only when forced," Keira replies. "Brother, you must force her," Georgiana says. Don't take that line out of context.
Keira cries that nothing can be done, there is no hope, only weeping and gnashing of teeth.
After all the fun, Darcy accompanies the Expositions and their niece to the inn. Don't ask me why. Keira gets a letter from Jane, and then LEAVES her GUEST to read it in private, reducing Darcy to pacing restlessly and silently in front of the Expositions, and probably driving them crazy. Are we sure that she likes him?
Darcy finally gives in the desire to sit, just as Keira walks into the room. She bursts into tears and walks out. Emmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaa! Why are you making a joke out of our heroine's distress? Darcy had lept up; he sits down again, looking blank. Keira, more composed, immediately reenters, and he leaps up again. The aerobic workout of love! Keira, crying, announces that Lydia has run off with Wickham. Oh, fuck that! Not the non-elopement, but the important plot developments happening off-screen, like Elizabeth discovering what had happened.
"This is my fault," Darcy breathes in his super-low sexy voice. Keira argues that it's actually her fault. Oh, get a room, you two. Keira cries that nothing can be done, there is no hope, only weeping and gnashing of teeth. "Would I could help you," Darcy lies. Oh, urgh. Whyyyyyyyyy? Why not say what he intends to do? Fine, be that way. Darcy exits with the worst consolations ever, and as Mr. Exposition dramatizes about finding Lydia before she ruins the family FOREVER, Keira, with tears in her eyes, watches Darcy slip through her fingers.
If she's so good with numbers, how come she didn't realize that Darcy was fucking loaded? Oh, whatever.
Dramatic carriage run. Dramatic cruelty to animals. Dramatic crying. Dramatic night.
Mrs. Bennet's room. Weeping and gnashing of teeth. Keira is emo. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Mary and Kitty are fighting over a letter they've just gotten. Jane, playing the big sister, takes it away, and realizes that it's addressed to Donald Sutherland. "It's in uncle's writing," Keira points out. Did they not have return addresses back then? I'd have thought they would. It seems rude not to put the sender's name on the envelop.
In any case, the girls run out to meet their father getting out of the carriage, presumably just returned from London. Wait a minute. Okay, so suppose that Donald Sutherland left for London as soon as he received word that Lydia had run away. He can get to there in a few hours, really. It's about 20 miles away. Jane's letter wasn't delayed in this version, so if she sent it the same day they got the news, it also arrived that night or the next night. Then Keira travels home overnight, comforts her mother in the morning, and Mr. Exposition travels back to London at the same time. Donald Sutherland, though he's only been looking through London for a couple of days with help, sets off for home in the morning, gets there by afternoon, and the letter is waiting for him. WTF? 'Cause that's what I'm seeing. Darcy's so quick it boarders on precognition! Oops--SPOILER!
Anyway, Donald opens the letter and mumbles that Mr. Exposition has found those crazy kids. He's too slow for Keira, who rips the letter out of her father's hand and reads that Donald Sutherland needs to agree to a hundred pounds a year for Lydia, then they'll marry. They are discussing this loudly in front of the servants, by the way. Donald mutters he'll agree, and then declares to his daughters than Mr. Exposition must have paid Armando far more. Good lord, people, have you know shame? This is scandalous stuff. Donald Sutherland just announced that he doesn't have enough money to take care of his family and has to rely on his brother-in-law's generocity. Not something you'd want the neighbors to know. Jane knows how to keep quiet, and asks Keira in an undertone how much she thinks Mr. Exposition must have paid. Keira is suddenly an expert in money matters, and, quickly calculating Armando's probable gambling debts, living costs, future salary, and marriage potential, figures it would be ten thousand pounds. If she's so good with numbers, how come she didn't realize that Darcy was fucking loaded? Oh, whatever.
And the dead rise! Mrs. Bennet jumps out of bed, remarkably rejuvenated by Lydia's marriage. Her first instinct is to brag to Lady Lucas. Oh, ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Keira lectures her that they're in their uncle's debt, but Mrs. Bennet dismisses her with, "And so he should help. He's far richer than us and has no children." Somewhere, surrounded by darkness, the little Gardiner children weep with Mrs. Phillips, the Lucases, and Col. Fitzwilliam's near marriage proposal. Mrs. Bennet keeps exclaiming about having married off a kid, and Keira snaps, "Is that really all you think about?" Well, hell yes. 60% of her girls are idiots, and none of them have any money. Mrs. Bennet refuses to be cast down, and says, cheerfully, "When you have five daughters, Lizzie, tell me what else will occupy your thoughts, and then perhaps you'll understand." I kind of love Mrs. Bennet. "You don't know what he's like," Keira emos. Who? Armando? Well, who's fault is that, you stupid ninny? Tell her! No? Okay, fine, be emo about it.
Damn, how many times can you go AWOL before they will kick you out of the British corps?
Lydia, dressed like a grown up, climbs out of the carriage and kisses her mother. Armando, dressed to the nines, looks goooooood. Lydia begins chattering away about showing her ring off to Sarah Sims, an actress in Jane Austen's time. Armando has the good grace to be embarrassed, and awkwardly bows to Donald Sutherland.
Dinner. Lydia looks so much better with her hair up, really. What confused me about the hair before is that didn't say out; it said in. She makes all sorts of noises about Brighton, and soldiers, and husbands! Mrs. Bennet coos. Keira is incredulous. I'm with her, for once. Armando, still graceously reticent - or perhaps nervous of the carving knife Donald Sutherland is wielding - reports that he's enlisted with a regiment in the North. Damn, how many times can you go AWOL before they will kick you out of the British corps? Armando finishes, "We travel there next week," and sounds a little pissed off. Kitty wants to come stay with them. "That is out of the question," Donald Sutherland thunders. I think Keira throws something at Armando.
Lydia, chattering away, starts to tell Keira all about her wedding, despite Keira's protests and interruptions to lecture her. Mary starts to talk about the scenery in the north of England, perhaps hoping to get an invitation, and nobody but Keira is listening when Lydia drops Darcy's name. "Mr. Darcy was at your wedding!" Keira exclaims. "He was the one that discovered us," Lydia says, in a very Dramatic Revelation way. "He paid for the wedding. [Armando]'s commission. Everything. But don't tell anyone, he told me not to tell!" she adds, with more feeling. Keira, of course, respects Darcy's wishes of secrecy by immediately and loudly repeating his name. "Mr. Darcy's not half as high and mighty as you sometimes," Lydia smirks. What? Is this opposite planet again? Then Lydia steals Keira's wine and boozes it up. ...
Which may be a good idea, for Armando stomps out of the house in a hissy. Don't ask me why. "There's nothing so bad as parting with one's children," Mrs. Bennet says, watching Lydia climb into her carriage. "One seems so forlorn without them." Keira hugs her. Aww.
Lydia waves as they drive away, and Armando roughly pulls her down to her seat. Oh, ha ha ha. Lydia assigned to a lifetime of domestic violence. Good one.
He says they're hear for the hunting. Darcy has a gun rack on his barouche-landau, you know.
Meryton. Some old drunk walks up to the Bennet ladies, sans Kitty, and tells them that Bingley is returning to Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet is excited, then pretends she's not and cares nothing about him. The poor old drunk is confused. Mrs. Bennet oh-so-casually asks if it's definite that he's coming, and, relieved, the drunk says it is, and that Miss Bingley isn't with him. Mrs. Bennet wants to go home and tell Donald Sutherland about it immediately. Jane repeats her mantra of "I'm over him! I'm over him!"
Darcy and Bingley stroll to Longbourn - okay, why doesn't Darcy ever wear a hat? It was proper, back then. He and Keira can be bareheaded soulmates.
Longbourn living room. The girls are scattered about, there's clutter everywhere. Mrs. Bennet is lounging around, humming Greensleeves. Kitty bursts in and announces that Bingley is upon them. I swear she's going to burst a blood vessel or something. "Everybody behave naturally!" Mrs. Bennet exclaims and everyone begins running around. Kitty notes that "Mr. What's-his-name, the pompous one from before" is with him, and Keira does a huge double-take. They run and fuss and throw things around, and when the Maid opens the door, they are spread out like a picture, each girl perfectly engaged in some fitting activity. Hee. I mean, that was such an Emma Thompson joke, but funny! And, for once, the servant announces the visitors: Mr. Bingley and Mr. What's-his-name, the pompous one from before.
Bingley begins with "Good - " And he is interrupted by Mrs. Bennet's chatter. She says that Miss Lucas is married, as is Lydia, and apparently Mrs. Bennet doesn't know where Newcastle is. She needs to by an atlas of England already. Keira nervously jumps in and asks Bingley how long he's staying. He says they're hear for the hunting. Darcy has a gun rack on his barouche-landau, you know. Keira asks Darcy if he's well, and, looking surprised at not being totally ignored in favor of Bingley, he answers. My, he looks fine. He always did, but both he and Bingley are wearing exceptionally fine-looking suits - a sepia-diagonally striped vest with beige cravat and green or blue jacket - brilliant! He says he's not hunting, he's going back to town tomorrow. Mrs. Bennet, hintingly, points out that Jane looks well. "She does indeed!" Bingley croaks. If Jane's eyes grow any larger, she's gonna look like an anime character.
"Well, we must be going, I think!" Bingley announces. Keira does nothing but emote. Mrs. Bennet reminds Bingley that he promised to have dinner with them. "I've not forgot, you see. At least three courses," she says, girlishly. Bingley's courage fails him and he runs. Darcy examines the top of his shoes, then bows and goes away. Keira looks like she would like to stop him, but doesn't. Oh, come on, now, woman. He's going back to town tomorrow. I mean, I'm not worried because I know he'll propose before then, but you should be worried. And I've already done an "Oops! Spoiler!" joke, too.
Jane stands, waiting. So pretty. Like a Vermeer.
Montage o' the dorks rehearsing the marriage proposal. I'd rather see Bingley yell at Darcy for LYING to him, but this is cute, too. Especially when Darcy pretends to be Jane. The world's worst immitation.
Longbourn lounge. Jane, looking quite lovely, is repeating her mantra, "I'm over him! I'm over him!" Keira teases her for it. Wow, Keira has enormous faith in Jane's charms. Jane apologizes that Darcy came by, and Keira, with Depth, replies, "Don't say that." Yes, she has decided to steal Jane's moment. "Jane," she whispers, with tears in her eyes, "I've been so blind - "
And Kitty yells that Bingley has come back again! Ha ha ha ha ha! He walks directly into the living room and requests a private interview with Miss Bingley. Mrs. Bennet, her salvation in sight, makes no sudden moves. She shoos everyone out. Jane stands, waiting. So pretty. Like a Vermeer. "First, I must tell you I have been the most unmitigated and comprehensive ass," Bingly begins, and kneels. Emmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
So, the entire family, except for Keira who is weighted down with her Issues, listens through the door to Jane's proposal. Then we get an unnecessary scene of Jane crying with happinness and saying, "Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!" she cliches, and he beams with happiness.
Meanwhile, Keira is being emo under a tree. And Darcy is being emo in the front garden. He stares at the house, then disappears like it's the end of Ghost and he's Patrick Swayze. Feh. Why don't they just talk to each other? Don't tell me about plot twists and such, what's preventing him from just saying something to her? He's so passive-aggressive, insisting that his generocity towards Lydia be kept a secret and then expecting Keira to find out and thank him for it, and she's just - stupid, she knows that he did it! Why are you guys so stupid? God! And I realize that I am emotionally involved in this stupid story. Oh, the number Jane Austen works on me.
Hooray for cynicism and distrust!
Montage o' windows. Donald Sutherland and Mrs. Bennet are in bed together, and somehow I can't recall what happens next. Some sort of psychic block against seeing parental figures, well - I can't recall what they did but it must have been scarring. Mary is boring Kitty. The maid sings. Jane and Keira giggle in a forced manner.
Jane, wrapping up her storyline, reports that Bingley didn't know she was in town, and thought she was indifferent. "No doubt poisoned by his pernicious sister," she adds. Instead of assigning the blame where it is due, Keira cheers, "Bravo! I think that's the most unforgiving speech you've ever made!" Hooray for cynicism and distrust! Then Jane begins to condescendingly coo that she wishes Keira had a boyfriend, and I start to kind of hate her. Keira won't tell anyone what happened to her unless it's a dramatic moment, though, so she makes a joke.
Am I supposed to think that Lady C's reading everyone's email?
And then Lady C drives up in the middle of the night and demands to speak to Keira. No, I'm not kidding. No, I'm not responsible for this stupid movie. I actually think that the living room, in the middle of the night, is a far less cinematic setting for this showdown than the garden in which it takes place in the novel.
So: Lady C accuses Keira of being engaged to Darcy. She says she isn't. Was this really so urgent to justify a midnight visit? Also, how did Lady C find out that Lydia was living with Armando, like, two days before getting married? And who told her Mr. Exposition "patched it up"? Am I supposed to think that she's reading everyone's email? Keira kicks her out and the family was listening at the door again. They try to ask her what's going on, and she yells, "Oh, for once in your life, leave me alone!" You know I'm going to say it, but I will anyway: Emmmmmmmaaaaaa!
"No, Mr. Darcy's up and disappeared. Nice nightgown, miss. You single?"
Keira. Emo in bed. Emo in front of a mirror. Then she decides to shrug her obvious man-coat over her nightgown and go for an early morning walk. Yes, the dumb in this movie as nearly met its climax. I mean, I'll put on a bathrobe and nip out to pick up the paper, but, like, a walk? In my pajamas? They didn't wear underwear back then, you know. She is SO going to catch her death of cold. She walks right into a glamour-shot, then looks across the field and sees Darcy has also taken an early walk.
While the piano and strings have an orgasm, I wonder where Darcy has come from. My first thought is Pemberley. I collect my jaw from the floor, and then think of Rosings. Well, that would explain his rather unkempt state of dress, because he must have started a few days earlier, and would also explain why Lady C was so fired up to catch him; she must have wanted to catch him and Keira in flagrante. Then I realize I'm being stupid; Darcy is staying at Netherfield, three miles away. It's just not immediately apparent that the Montage o' Windows takes place the night Bingley proposes to Jane. Somehow, it gives the impression that more time has passed that actually has, and then I -
Oh, dammit. He's done walking and I'm supposed to swoon. I didn't swoon. Well, rewind and go again.
Now I'm wondering why he's prancing around with no hat, no tie, and his shirt open like that. Honestly, what was he intending to do, going around dressed like that? Three miles leaves a lot of space between the two houses, and it's just good luck that they chose the same route and didn't miss each other. Was Darcy planning to walk all the way to Keira's house, even though he has horses, and knock on the door, and be, like, "Hey, is Keira home?" Because they'd be, like, "Nah, she had a fit and we think she's ran off. By the way, your aunt is an asshole," while staring curiously at his state of undress. And then Keira will knock on Netherfield's front door, and the butler will be, like, "No, Mr. Darcy's up and disappeared. Nice nightgown, miss. You single?" Embarrassment for both. Besides, if Keira were home, then what kind of impression is Mr. Darcy leaving her family with? I love you so much I proposed to you while only three-quarters dressed? That's like proposing while wearing sweat pants.
He's finished again, and I forgot to swoon! Rewind!
But what is he up to? Keira, I can under stand. Obviously she intends to drown herself in the little stream. But, he? His aunt drove to Bingley's house and woke him up to yell at him, right? Doesn't Lady C have to sleep? And why is Keira just standing there, instead of thinking, "I'm in my freakin' nightgown! Eep!" I'm not saying that in 1792, people didn't unexpectedly meet without their proper attire on, but you'd think they'd be embarrassed, exchange a few words in greeting, awkward pause, and then away to change - hell, I've just described the wet shirt scene from the BBC version. And why did Darcy bother to put on his trousers and socks and boots and coat and then leave off before the vest, tie, jacket, and hat? It's not THAT hard to get properly dressed, even without mama's help, and -
Oops. Missed it again. Rewind!
You know, Matthew Macfadyen isn't even that good a walker. He waddles.
Oh, fuck it all. I just can't swoon.
Well, they meet, and there's nothing to be said, really, but they say it anyway. Darcy apologizes for being related to assholes. Keira does the same, and thanks him for being a rich mother. Matthew Macfadyen pulls out the chocolate voice for the reiteration of Darcy's proposal. He did it all for her. She must know this. His feelings and wishes have remained unchanged. "You have bewitched me, body and soul." He is so ripping off Captain Wentworth's "You pierce my soul!" "And I love, I love, I love you." He lurves her, he loaves her, he luffs her. He lathes her, he loathes her, he leaves her. He lives, he loans, he leads her. He lithes her, he leafs her. He likes her, he likes her not. He loves her, yeah yeah yeah. He wreathes her, he writhes her, he waifs her. He lifts her up where she belongs, he loves her like a many splendered thing, all he needs is love. He less that threes her. He adores, cherishes, worships, dotes upon, fancies, prizes, and admires her. She's his Shipoopi. In conclusion, ♥.
"Well, then," Keira says, taking his hand. She could stand to apologize to him a bit, you know? He does all the heavy-lifting in this relationship. She kisses his knuckles, and notes, "Your hands are cold." They put their foreheads together, and the sun peeks between their heads. So the movie begins and ends in sunrise. That's a nice touch.
Keira grins and kisses holy crap Keira Knightley's head is about half as small as Donald Sutherland's!
Longbourn. Keira passes nervously in front of Donald Sutherland's study. I so want to see Darcy's confrontation with Mr. Bennet. But, alas, no. Darcy pops out, and gives her a hopeful smile, as Donald Sutherland tells her to close the door. You know, the real Mr. Bennet would be shining his rifle right now, ready to shoot Darcy for that improprietous romp in the field.
Donald asks her if she's gone crazy. He thought she hated Darcy. He's rich, but will it make her happy? Keira asks if he objects to anything "except for my indifference?" "None at all," Donald replies. "Well, we all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of fellow, but this would be nothing if you really liked him." Aww. I love Donald Sutherland. "I do like him," Keira sas. "I love him. He's not proud, I was wrong, I was entirely wrong about him." She mentions the "things" he's done, and Donald guardedly asks, "What things?" Perhaps contemplating breaking out the shotgun after all.
Darcy, outside the house, paces nervously, as the family watches him like he's an animal in the zoo and wonder where his hat's gone. Mrs. Bennet, who looks suspicious, exclaims that she thought Keira hated Darcy's guts. So much for her overweening joy at the news of his proposal. ("Ten thousand a year!") Jane, who hasn't stopped laughing since her own proposal, decides they were wrong. "Wouldn't be the first time, would it?" Mrs. Bennet replies. Aww. You know, I think Jane is happier than Keira. Keira only smiles, Jane laughs.
Awkward cut back inside. Was that really necessary to cut out the exposition? Donald Sutherland says he'll have to pay Darcy back, instead of remarking, like in the book, that he doesn't have to worry about it because it's the sort of thing young lovers do all the time. Keira says that she has misjudged Darcy, and been so stupid - but so has he. "We're both so stubborn!" she says. I would have said "arrogant asshat" myself. Keira laughs, crying a litte, covering mouth with her hand. Donald Sutherland laughs, and cries, and pushes his dentures back into his mouth. Donald still doesn't believe that anyone deserves her, but he gives his permission. They embrace. "I could not have parted with you, my Lizzie, to anyone less worthy," he says, and it's so sweet I don't even change Keira's name. Keira grins and kisses holy crap Keira Knightley's head is about half as small as Donald Sutherland's! Her head! I had no idea hat sizes varied that much! She rushes out to tell her boyfriend the good news, and Donald sits, laughing a little through his tears. The plant he plotted in the beginning has died. "If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, for heaven's sake, send them in. I'm quite at my leisure," he calls, and chuckles, and pushes his dentures back in.
And on that perfect capper, we close.
Keira's telling him to call her "Goddess divine." I'm glad to see she's learned humility.
Oh, no, we don't! Because apparently we Americans need a little smut in our romcoms! They did research about this, you know. So we have the kissing (urgh!) scene.
Keira and Darcy are both wearing nighties - I think - and sitting on a picnic table, admiring his lake. I'm not eating on that table. Nope, nope, nope. Keira is stroking - I - I can't - she's stroking his calf. She's telling him that he can't call her "my dear," instead "Lizzie," "my pearl" (OMG!) "for Sundays," and "Goddess divine." I'm glad to see she's learned humility. The dialogue is so obviously ADR'd, it's annoying. He asks if he can call her "Mrs. Darcy" when he's angry, and she says to save if for when he's happy. I think he's being passive-aggressive, then, when he takes her face into his hands and kisses her, calling her "Mrs. Darcy" over and over again. I'm skeeved, people! I can't handle this! Finally, they lean in for the big one ... and he totally misses her lips, kissing her chin.
Ha. [Tinkly piano.]
Yay! Yay for posting! Yay!
I will say, again in the movie's defense (though you've done a thorough job of pointing out how ridiculous and silly and totally historically inaccurate it is), that Mrs. Bennet is a much more likable character in this version than she is in any other version, including the book. The scene where she deadpans the line about, "Well, what the hell else am I supposed to think about? You see any SONS around?" (or effectively that) is one of my favorite in the entire movie, where I found the BBC Mrs. Bennet braying and annoying. I know she's supposed to be and all that, but it's annoying to watch on screen, especially for 6 hours. It makes Part 5 pretty brutal.
"Bizarro world" actually comes from the Superman comics. ADR stands for "Additional Dialogue Recording." It means the dialogue was recorded in a studio, after the fact. Sometimes it sounds okay, sometimes not. On the LotR special features, it said that almost 80% of their dialogue was ADR'd, and it sounded great, then. A lot of the time, though, it sounds bad.
*snicker* Wasn't there a zombie!Darcy allusion in your previous post? Some authors over at the DWG wrote horror spoofs last Halloween and I almost died of teh funny. There's one about the sculpture gallery actually. Hee.
You know what's really wrong with this adaptation, despite it's prettiness and several really good moments? There are two major turning points in the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy and this movie BOTCHES BOTH OF THEM. One is the letter (totally cut short) and the other is the meeting at Pemberley. Dear director: it is vitally important to include the bit where Mrs. Reynolds praises Darcy as a master. And also, the meeting must take place in front of the Gardiners, so that Darcy can immediately show that he can be polite and non-snobby and that he wants to impress Elizabeth. These are major plot points, so don't screw it up! Darn, you already did, didn't you. *sigh*
As a side note, Georgiana is SHY. She's not bouncy, skinny, or cutesy. Thank you very much.
I asked my friend, cheapriboflavin, if she could think of any tall, statuesque actresses with dark hair. "Geena Davis!" she said, and I thought, "Hey, perfect."
Incidentally, don't do an image search for Gina Davis, like I did.
I think the temptation to make Georgiana small and mousy is because it makes her look innocent, and remember that she's the ex-victim here, and that's the light we're supposed to see her in. If we got someone who had dark hair and was as large as Darcy (especially as tall as McFayden, who is like 6'1"), she'd be pretty intimidating and maybe we'd have a harder time believing that Wickham tried to take advantage of THAT.
Yeah, I think that's what they were going for. Personally, I'd prefer they cast against type (in other words, canon), because there's a nice parallel between Georgiana's and Darcy's vulnerability. You are one of those shy!Darcy theorists, right?
Anyway, if Darcy is tall and dark, his sister probably would be too.
Well, yes, she would be tall and dark, maybe, unless her mom was blond or her dad was blond, and with differing hair colors of parents, it's really a toss-up. And she's shy, but in like a totally girly, young, socially-appropriate way. Darcy, male and at 28, just as Social Anxiety Disorder and hides it by being crabby.
Isn't shy and socially-appropriate kind of an oxymoron?
If we assume that Darcy resembled his dad more, then Georgiana's blonde hair could be more reflected in Lady Anne's side of the family. Hmm; I seem to remember that little Anne was black-haired, but I'm not sure about Judi Dench. Col. Fitzwilliam had strawberry-blond hair.
In any case, it could work out:
Ear of __ Somebody
(brown brown) (blond blond)
| | |
Dad Darcy Lady Anne Earl of -- Lady C Sir Lewis
(brown blond)| (brown blond) | (blonde brown)|(black black)
_____|_____ | |
| | | |
Georgiana Fitzwilliam Col. Fitzwilliam Anne
(blond blond) (brown brown) (blond red) (black blonde)
God, I can't even remember. I think I got that from gehayi, who is extremely hip in a square kind of way.
Though I love the Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane covers, my favorite section is "Seduction of the Innocent." Now, remember, you're one of the innocents ...
"Brother, you must force her," Georgiana says. Don't take that line out of context.
OMG, you are priceless, lol.
Montage o' the dorks rehearsing the marriage proposal. I'd rather see Bingley yell at Darcy for LYING to him, but this is cute, too. Especially when Darcy pretends to be Jane. The world's worst immitation.
I loved this scene, hehe. Poor Bingley. XD
Overall (sorry for the multiple comments, lol), I love your recap as always :D I have similar feelings, so it was refreshing and hilarious reading ;)
Don't worry about the multiple comments. I usually get one-per-post and anyway, I've left far worse. Like fifty on the same post.
I'm glad you liked it; I delayed writing this for months because I didn't like the movie, and I figured all my P&P-lovin' readers would hate it. Actually, it turns out, most of them agreed with me, even the ones who liked the movie, so the whole thing worked out!
Haha, I'm glad they did! I didn't like the movie either, and like I said, your recaps were pretty much spot on with a lot of my thoughts regarding the movie. Which is a shame, really, because it could have been good (even with Keira) but... well... *shakes fist*
*huggles her 1995 miniseries DVDs*
And now, I come back to life (after the big P&P - 1995 dramatic death) only to gasp, choke with laughter and die again.
Although I die somewhat happy that I'm not american because the whole dear-pearl-goddess thing would have marked me for life. Well, not really.. I already hate Miss Fangs guts..
I just didnt do my English homework to read this. *grins* And OMG. I had to practically stuff my hand in my mouth to keep from laughing aloud so my mother wouldn't know what I was doing!
This was brilliant. How would you feel about my making icons from it?
I just got done reading all three parts of this. It was hugely funny. I read bits outloud to myself for the benefit of making myself laugh. The whole bit on how he loves her made me giggle unceasingly.
He loves her, yeah yeah yeah. He wreathes her, he writhes her, he waifs her. He lifts her up where she belongs, he loves her like a many splendered thing, all he needs is love. He less that threes her. He adores, cherishes, worships, dotes upon, fancies, prizes, and admires her. She's his Shipoopi. In conclusion, ♥.
that part :)
Keira grins and kisses holy crap Keira Knightley's head is about half as small as Donald Sutherland's!
That is my absolute favorite part of this movie.
Bravo on the recap! This movie was my first taste of Austen, and it turned me into an Austen fan. I read P&P in 72 hours after seeing this version of it. So, horribly inaccurate as it may be, it achieved some good.
I am glad that they made the movie. It made a lot of new fans who are too young to remember the 1995 version that was so popular, and it really helped Jane Austen get popular again. So I'm grateful there. There's a couple things I don't like about it, but overall I'm glad they made it.
A bit late coming to this but oh so very funny. I read your P&P95 ones too (late last night. Woo holidays).
I am ambivalent towards this version. Bits I like- like how Jane is actually prettier than Lizzie and it's all so beautifully filmed. English countryside never looks like that though. And other bits are just teeth-gringly bad! What never fails to amuse me is Donald Sutherland's complete LACK of English accent. WTF?!
hey, any chance you still have the icons/gifs mentioned here? They're not showing up.
Ooo, I just noticed that you're working on a P&P80. My favorite version! No, seriously, it is. I <3 that version. But I'm sure your snark will be totally accurate and acceptable.
catches her chin, which is, of course, EXACTLY what happened at the end of P&P95. PRECISELY the same problem. What is with Darcys and their inability to kiss Eliza on the mouth? This is why I'm glad they don't kiss in my fave version. Oh, you can tell that they're ABOUT to, but they don't actually do so. Ooops, was that a spoiler?