Pride & Prejudice (2005)

(In theaters, February 2006) No one really asked for another interpretation of Jane Austen’s classic novel so soon (relatively speaking) after either the now-definitive BBC miniseries or the Bollywood take-off Bride & Prejudice. But there is now another version, and it’s not bad at all. Kiera Knightly can’t fill a dress, but she does looks cute as a bookish brunette. Fortunately, she manages to tie the whole film together. Given that most viewers are likely to be familiar with the story, it all boils down to how well the interpretation is handled. Here we see that the director has fun with a few fancy camera moves and occasional flights of fancy. (The ballroom scenes are particularly good in this regard.) Less pretty but just as distinctive is the often-unromantic view of life during that period, with omnipresent dirt, soiled dress hems and a definitive lack of modern medical facilities. Clocking in at a relatively springy 127 minutes, this story is focused on the romantic comedy, with a side-helping of wonderful dialogues. Otherwise, well, you already know what you’re going to get from this film, don’t you?

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