Matthew MacFadyen’s facial expressions are simply priceless. I think that this aspect of his performance is not identical to the Mr Darcy of Jane Austen’s book but I appreciate it very much in this version of the movie. In the book I think that Mr Darcy is less expressive.
The first proposal scene takes place at the Temple of Apollo in Stourhead Garden in England. It is also the part of this movie that I really appreciate Matthew MacFadyen’s performance.
The first proposal scene alone makes this movie all worth watching to me. Mr. Darcy finally throws away the last thread of pride and family ranking to reveal and express his love for Elizabeth.
You can watch the first impassioned proposal scene on video by clicking the link below.
Keira Knightly portrays Elizabeth Bennett. Keira’s interpretation of the heroine is not my favorite. It was not a bad performance, I just did not care for this version of Elizabeth. The way Keira portrayed Lizzy seems more suited for one of Catherine Cookson’s melodramas. There was just something missing in Elizabeth in this version and I found her to be too much of a tomboy.
Keira was also outfitted in very drab looking clothing which did not fit the character at all. The Bennett’s were not wealthy, but neither were they destitute. Their home certainly was nothing like Netherfield but it was still a house on a greater scale than the norm. It was more like a smaller mansion and they did employ a cook.
This is not Donald Sutherland;s best role. It seemed to me as if he was cast because of his name and then he was allowed to be as low-key as he pleased in the role. I have seen much better work come out of Mr. Sutherland.
Brenda Blethyn is a very funny Mrs. Bennett. She brings the right balance of humor and chatter to the character.
This movie is not the perfect version of Pride & Prejudice, but I still enjoyed it very much for what the director intended it to be in his eyes. I have seen worse versions like the 1940 production starring Laurence Olivier. I am usually a purist when it comes to making books into movies, but sometimes I don’t mind a little change.