Focus Features’ Pride & Prejudice stars Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen and was released in 2005. What’s to love about this version of the classic Jane Austen novel is the performances, the score, the cinematography, the screenplay adaptation, and everything.
Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth Bennet and she does a beautiful job expressing the character’s emotions, prejudices, and nuances, and Matthew MacFadyen, who plays Fitzwilliam Darcy, plays off of her so well. The chemistry between the two actors sizzles on the screen, and the tension between the characters is palatable.
My love of piano music is catered to in the score of this movie from the scene with Elizabeth looking out over the countryside on her way to Pemberley with her aunt and uncle to the consistent pianoforte playing by the various characters.
While there are scenes from the book that are not in this movie, the pacing is perfect. Knightley easily portrays Elizabeth’s fire and her love for her sister. MacFadyen’s performance is equally captivating as Mr. Darcy from the touch of Elizabeth’s hand and the clenching and unclenching of his fist to the longing gazes he casts in Elizabeth’s direction.
***May contain spoilers***
Some of the best scenes are when it rains and Darcy professes his ardent love against his better judgment, the witty repartee between Darcy and Elizabeth at Rosings, the first dance between Darcy and Elizabeth, and the short exchange between Darcy and Bingley when he visits Jane after a long absence. The best scene of course is when Darcy and Elizabeth meet in the field early in the morning after his aunt visits late the previous evening.