Pride and Prejudice 2005 – What I liked and What I Didn’t Like

Pride and Prejudice 2005 – What I liked and What I Didn’t Like

I have to admit that I haven’t watched the entirety of the 1995 BBC presentation of Pride and Prejudice and cannot comment on whether I like or don’t like it. For the moment, the 2005 version is my favorite. I’ve also seen snippets of the 1967 black and white and mourn the loss of most of that particular film. The 1940 movie with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson was very enjoyable although most inaccurate in a number of instances. What little I’ve seen of the 1980 adaptation I also enjoyed. I will probably find that there are aspects of each one that I find agreeable and perhaps a few that I don’t care for.

For the most part, I love the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Why? Well, for a number of reasons.

The music for one as it completed or made the film. It was composed by Dario Marianelli and performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet (piano) and the English Chamber Orchestra. Each piece seemed to fit the scenes perfectly and was delightfully performed.

            Elizabeth on top of the world

    Tythe Pig dance at the Meryton Assembly

The artsy way Joe Wright presented the film. The 1995 version had six hours to cover Jane Austen’s book whereas the 2005 was given only a third of that time: two hours and eight minutes. Even though the exact scenes and exact dialogue were not always utilized, the way the film was put together was not only beautiful but also got the book across to the audience.

I loved the sunrise scene.

The way Keira Knightley portrayed Elizabeth Bennet. She came across as a strong and also opinionated woman. Darcy was not the only one with the flaws of pride and prejudice.

Darcy’s proposal

Loved Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayal of Darcy. I think he presented him to a T: shy, proud, vulnerable, and with a bit of prejudice as well. Although Darcy is presented as a very wealthy landowner, I think he was truly lacking in ability to be sociable when out in society. Jane Austen may have touched on the reasons why: loss of mother early on, loss of father with heavy responsibilities falling on Darcy’s shoulders, and ambitious females and their pushy mamas. Poor guy. Just opened his mouth and put his foot in it too often. And too proud to apologize?

For the most part, I absolutely loved the movie and how Pride and Prejudice was depicted. However, there were a few things I was not happy with.

  1. Hated that stupid line of Georgiana’s. “Brother, you must force her.” The scriptwriter needed to be slapped.
  2. I was irritated that the wardrobe mistress was not more careful about the clothes and propriety of that day. Lack of gloves at the Netherfield Ball. But, then again, the 1995 version was also lacking gloves on a number of the young women. Wearing a bonnet and gloves when outdoors was a must for all the women when they went anyplace unless I’m missing something.

  3. Also irritated that the scriptwriter played a tad too loose with the script and that was offputting to many viewers. It didn’t bother me terribly, but I would have liked more favorable comments about this version.

  4. And what irritated me the most is there was a wedding scene when Darcy and Elizabeth got married, and it got cut from the film. Would have loved to have seen it.

Now, it’s your turn. Just keep in mind that I will also be doing a post of this same caliber on the 1995 version when I’ve watched all of it from start to finish. I really do think I’ll like it also. But…I do have a thing or two I’ve already noticed that I don’t care for as well.

Lead on MacDuff. 🙂


Additional videos you might enjoy:

  1. The Politics of 18th century dating
  1. The Proposals 2005/1995
  1. Top 10 Notes: Pride and Prejudice

40 Responses to Pride and Prejudice 2005 – What I liked and What I Didn’t Like

  1. i think there never was a wedding scene to begin with.there was an alternate ending which showed them after they were married but no deleted wedding scene anywhere

    • Hi, Rosemary. There is at least one photo of the deleted wedding scene from the 2005 on Pinterest and another website. Unfortunately, WordPress will not let me put a link in this comment.

      • I didn’t “post” with my comment, but I stated that I, too, saw that photo either on Pinterest or Google pics. The pictures shows Caroline Bingley holding a bouquet behind them, looking VERY pouty.

  2. I’m late to the party, but the 2005 version is NOT my favorite. I do like Matthew MacFadyen as Darcy and would have liked Keira Knightly as Elizabeth if they’d dressed her appropriately. She wore drab colors. The only time we saw her in a light color was the Netherfield Park ball. Also, no gloves, no bonnets, walking alone to Lambton, pigs in the parlor (had to put that in there), Mr. Bennet taking care of orchids instead of reading in his book room, the list goes on, and on, and on…. I also miss Mr. and Mrs. Hurst and they gave dialogue to Lizzy which wasn’t hers. Mr. Collins was supposed to be a tall man, didn’t happen. Loved the character of Charlotte and Mrs. Bennet. Good choices. Because of these things I tend to fast forward through scenes which annoy me, such as Elizabeth sitting barefoot on a swing near the pig/chicken pen. Ugh!
    I agree with others that if a lot of the cinematography had been diluted, (skirt billowing on a cliff, walking to Longbourn in opening scene, wandering around Pemberley – alone, walking to Lambton – alone, swinging barefoot, staring into a mirror, walking out to the moors at daybreak, etc., etc.), there would have been time for other critical scenes which shows character development. However, leave the scene where Darcy is walking towards her. Very romantic and downright tingly, sexy!
    I shall climb off my soapbox and scuttle back into my writing den. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Well, at least you did like something about the 2005, Sue. There are a couple of things I really didn’t like about the 1995, but I’ll save them for when I write about that version. And I will be fair. I will watch it from start to finish before I critique it, and I will endeavor to be unbiased about it also. After all, I may love both versions before I’m finished. 🙂

  3. I love aspects of all the P&P versions. More particularly the music! I love that Elizabeth Garvey sings The Ash Grove and her voice is rich and expressive, as are her eyes. In the 1940 I love that they play an instrumental of “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes” at the assembly. Then of course the sound tracks for the Mini-series and the later version are awesome. I even bought the music with excerpts for both and pull them out every now and then to play on the piano. We are so luck in this day and age to have such a great variety of visuals and audios to choose from.

    • That we are, Jennifer. I even bought the music for the 2005 as well. However, I haven’t played in years but can’t wait until I can make the time to go back to it. And I’m with you. There are different things I like about the versions I’ve seen so far and feel that I will like certain aspects of the others as well. I loved Edna Mae Oliver as Lady Catherine in the 1940 version and loved Greer Garson in just about anything.

  4. I wondered about that as well, Lynn. Although I haven’t heard anything about it in interviews, the first thing I thought of was dinner and maybe Mr. Bennet was taking him to a room like a butcher shop. But I think maybe your comment is closer to the truth. If so, it was a rather crass way to depict it. 🙁

  5. The thing that has always bothered me about the 2005 version is the state of the Bennet’s house. At one point a pig is running around indoors! Mrs Bennet would not have allowed her house to be in as much disarray as the movie showed. The Bennet’s were not as rich as Darcy or Bingley but they were not poor either. I’ve always suspected the film makers designed it that way to highlight the disparity in income, but it just grates on me.

    • I don’t have many either, Caryl. What I do need to do is to watch all of them. As soon as I get into the middle of July, I think I’ll plan on doing that. 🙂

  6. The 1995 version is my favorite, but I thought the 2005 version was very well done for a 2-hour movie. Yes, the director had some very long sequences that apparently bothered others, but they generally just make me want to visit those locations. There are some flaws as noted by several others, but the best part for me was the life the actors gave to the story. There was a spirit and energy that would have been tough to maintain in a 6-hour production, but was perfect for 2 hours. In any love story, I want to fall in love with the hero. It was very easy to fall in love with Matthew.

    I read a lot of JAFF, and I love to imagine which actors would best represent the characters in whatever JAFF I am reading. I wonder if the authors also do that while they are writing, and whether we would agree. 🙂

    • As an author, I do have a picture in my mind of how Darcy looks and acts and Matthew Macfadyen fits the bill perfectly. Keira Knightley did a beautiful Elizabeth Bennet. However, with the other P&P characters, I don’t picture specific actors or looks, but I do see in my mind’s eye their personalities and their actions. And I agree with you that the cast of 2005 made the movie. The behind the scenes chatter indicated quite a camaraderie among the cast and crew, and I think that came across in the film as well. And we love Matthew, don’t we!!! 🙂

  7. I agree with you about missing the wedding scene. Another thing I didn’t like as well in the 2005 movie was the Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana in this movie. Georgiana just seemed too immature (like you mentioned with that scene were she wanted to make Elizabeth play for her) and Colonel Fitzwilliam just didn’t look like Colonel Fitzwilliam to me.

    • Isn’t it funny, Chelsea, when we get a picture of someone in our mind and the reality doesn’t live up to it. In the 1940 movie, Fitzwilliam had a big moustache and ran around in a kilt. My thought was, ‘why on earth is Darcy’s cousin in a kilt?’ He was in the regular army not the Scottish militia. But I do enjoy the 1940 film and think I’ll enjoy all of the adaptations. But Mrs. Bennet in 1995 has got to go. 🙂

      • I forgot about Colonel Fitzwilliam wearing a kilt in the 1940 movie. That was really odd but I thought all the costumes in that movie were wrong for P&P although they were pretty.

    • Life in general. I’ve been concentrating on writing since becoming an indie author last year. And although I have the DVD’s, I haven’t set up my TV to play them. I quit watching TV about four years ago, and since that time, my provider has changed equipment and I just haven’t taken time to set everything up. I will eventually get around to it because I also have the 1980 DVD I want to watch as well. Bottom line, I’ve just procrastinated. 🙂 🙂

  8. This version is my absolute favorite while I do enjoy watching the others also.
    Keira and Matthew are lovely in this. Matthew’s version of Darcy most fits the Darcy in my head, more shy and awkward and Matthew is gorgeous….
    I agree with others that I wish it was a mini series and would have included more scenes; they did such a beautiful job with what we got. Imagine how great a full adaption would have been.

  9. I agree that this version is beautifully choreographed and filmed, but I think too much time was devoted to shots of walking, panoramic vistas, and other non-integral action, given the limits of a two hour run time. It took Elizabeth forever to get into the house at the beginning, and it took her forever to get to Darcy in the meadow at the end. We followed the maid moving throughout Longbourn as the girls readied for the Netherfield Ball. We watched Elizabeth stand in the wind on a cliff. We watched her walk down the hill from Pemberley to Lambton. It was all artistically presented and beautiful, but I wish instead we’d had the party at the Lucas house, the inclusion of the Hursts, and Col. Fitzwilliam hadn’t been reduced to a blow-through character only used to dump book information. And poor, imbecilic Bingley…. But I did like this version’s rampant sarcasm and use of surreptitious looks (like the exchange of expressions between Elizabeth and her father, Elizabeth’s face nearly every time Mr. Collins spoke, and the ways Elizabeth and Darcy looked at each other when they thought no one was watching). And Pip Torrens absolutely stole the scene announcing “a Mrs. Bennet, a Miss Bennet, a Miss Bennet… and… a Miss Bennet, sir.”

    • Yes, I too wanted a whole lot more. And I loved Elizabeth’s response to Charlotte’s comment about Darcy owning half of Derbyshire when she said, “The miserable half.” 🙂

  10. The whole wandering off be herself from Pemberley was just bizarre. How did she know which way to go? How did she get back so quickly and why did her aunt and uncle not seem concerned in the slightest? Like you I didn’t like the lack of gloves and bonnets. Although I did read something once by the costumer who had to fight with the director because he never wanted a hat on Elizabeth ever. She had to put her foot down and insist on E wearing a bonnet in Church. I thought Rupert Friend was the best looking Wickham so far.

    • Thank you for the insight as to the bonnet in church. I didn’t see that interview. I agree that Rupert Friend was the best looking Wickham so far, however, I’ve not been impressed with any of them.

  11. What fun…

    1940’s version… loved it… even though everything was wrong, wrong and wrong… from the costumes to the many changes to the story line… however, it was adorable.

    1980 closer to the Austen dialogue. Seen it dozens of times.

    1995… my all time favorite. I have several versions of this movie and have watched every second of every video including extended versions and listened to the commentary and special features on how it was made, anniversary editions and special editionis.

    2001 Bridget Jones Diary adaption… nope, didn’t like it.

    2003 Latter-Day [Mormon] Comedy… haven’t seen it.

    2004 Bride and Prejudice… different… and not my style at all.

    2005, beautiful but so many improprieties [minus gloves, minus hats and silliness]. Poor Judy Dench had to endure being photographed in such poor lighting. I really felt for her.

    2008 Lost in Austen… have not see it.

    2012 & 2013 Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Nope.

    2013 Austenland… crazy farce.

    2013 Death Comes to Pemberley… read the book, haven’t seen the movie.

    2016 Unleashing Mr. Darcy… read the book, haven’t seen the movie [actually didn’t know there was one]

    2016 Let’s just forget about the Zombies, OKAY? I’m not going there.

    It looks like over time the pace picked up as people began to realize… there is an audience for P&P fan fiction. Rather that a movie every ten years… I see they realized there is fan desire for more Austen. P&P will always be my favorite. Although I do enjoy movies of the other Austen adaptions. I usually have to see a movie at least a half-dozen times before I begin to see the bloopers or goofs. I enjoy trying to find them or reading these posts that point them out. Thanks for this walk down memory lane. I enjoyed it.

  12. My only complaint about the 2005 version is that it was too short. I wish it would have been a miniseries instead of a feature film so that the filmmakers would not have been limited with the length of the film and maybe then they would have included the wedding scene.

  13. Did not know about the cut wedding scene! How was that confirmed??

    I felt that Georgiana was to o upbeat she’s supposed to be shy and the dress caro line wore at one of the dances ( the sleeveless dress)

    • As to the wedding scene, I’ve seen one pic, and I think the wedding was also commented on in an video about the film. I don’t recall that any reason for cutting it was given.

  14. I thought that was unusual too that Elizabeth was allowed to walk alone all that way. I thought ladies were to be accompanied. This is my favorite movie version though. I love Kiera Knightly and the gentleman that played Mr Darcy was very good as well. This is what prompted me to read P+P to begin with!

    • What a nice response that you read P&P after seeing the movie. This version will probably stay my favorite although I like aspects of the others also. But Matthew Macfadyen will definitely continue to be my favorite Darcy. 🙂

  15. Really disliked that Elizabeth was allowed to walk the five (?) miles from Pemberley to Lambton on her own, never would have happened. Also with the 1995 version (which I dislike) Collins is wrong. Austen did give a good description of him so why vary from that, and Bingley was just so wet. I only thing I did like was that Mary was actually pretty.

    • Thanks for your comments, Vesper. When I can take the time to watch all of 1995, I’ll comment. I may find that they stick more strictly to the story than most movie adaptations do.

  16. I liked that Darcy was a bigger man. It was refreshing to see a regular sized man playing the role. Matthew Macfadyen is did a wonderful job. I think that is one of the reasons he was cast? I remember the director said that in an interview but maybe I am wrong.

  17. There are three things that annoy me about the 2005 film.
    The wedding scenes being cut.
    The British version having the kiss at Pemberley as an extra instead of being part of the film.
    And the fact that it finished. ?

    • I’m with you Glynis. I wish that more had been included (wedding and kiss.) I would have liked to have seen what Joe Wright would have done with the whole story. Ah, well. If pigs could fly. 🙁

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