Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pride and Prejudice Watch-a-thon Wrap Up

These past couple of weeks I've thrown a lot of opinions at you and enough bullet points to last the rest of the year, but I've personally accomplished something I have always wanted to do: figure out which adaption I like best and why. Normally when someone asks me what my favorite adaption is I end up stuttering out a title and then I can't follow up with some concrete reasons. Now I can!! I've also discovered what actors seem to have a handle on the characters they agree to portray.

With that in mind I've decided to draw up my ideal casting list. These would be the actors that I would choose were I to make the perfect Pride and Prejudice adaption. Some of these choices probably won't come as a shock to some of you because I raved about them in the past posts.

Mr. Darcy: Colin Firth

This really is no surprise. Colin Firth will always be my perfect Darcy and for those curious my second favorite Darcy has to be Lawrence Olivier. Had Olivier's portrayal been a little less lovesick he would have been my first.

Lizzie Bennet: Jennifer Ehle

As I discussed in my last post Ehle perfectly captures Lizzie's character, so much so that her performance is copied by others.

Jane Bennet: Laura Spencer from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

While Laura stars in the modernization of Austen's novel, I have complete confidence that if you stuck her in period dress she would be the best Jane ever. Every other Jane in the adaptions I've discussed are so bland and forgettable. Not to mention the fact that they don't have a believable sister relationship with their respective Lizzies. Laura has Jane's kind and caring personality down pat, but manages to bring a wonderful range of emotions to the character. I really felt for her when Bing Lee abandoned her and I loved when she was there to help her sisters through all of their problems.

Mr. Bennet: Hugh Bonneville from Lost in Austen

I've already raved about his perfect portrayal of Mr. Bennet in my Lost in Austen post, so if you'd like to know why he is my favorite then you should read that or just watch Lost in Austen already.

Mrs. Bennet: Well I really don't have a favorite actor for her character. The problem that I have is I have such a distaste for her character in general that it's just to hard for me to connect with one of her representations. I do know that I'm not a fan of the Mrs. Bennets from the 1995 and the 2005 versions.

Mary: Marsha Hunt from the 1940 P&P

Her Mary is the one that fills me with the least amount of pity and disgust. She is the bookish, awkward Mary from the book not the ugly, socially inept version that the other adaptions seem to represent.

Kitty: HEHEHEHE Right. When has Kitty ever been a fully fleshed out character in any adaption. Maybe we should just rename her Lydia's shadow. If I had to choose it would be the Kitty from the 1995 version because she is in the movie enough for me to be forced to realize she is an actual character.

Wickham: Tom Riley from Lost in Austen

I know that his portrayal of Wickham is totally different from the book, but I have no doubt that had he been forced to act the original Wickham it would have been perfect. Honestly with a face like that I have no doubt he could charm young women out of all of their fortunes.

Charlotte: While I really want to put the Charlotte from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries I think that the allure of her character only comes from the freedom she gets in the modernization, so I can't in all good conscious put her here. The rest of the Charlottes also seem to be lacking. If I were to piece together the performances my perfect Charlotte would be a combination of the 1995 version with the feistiness of the 2005 version.

Caroline: Frieda Inescort from the 1940 version

I've previously discussed why Frieda is the perfect Caroline, but to sum it up she has the right look and the right attitude. In the words of Amanda Price she is the perfect "frosty knickers."

Mr. Collins: David Bamber from the 1995 version

AHHHHH!!! THAT FACE!! Only a Lady Catherine could appreciate that face. All I can say is that he provides the most accurate Collins representation.

Mr. Bingley: I left him for last because honestly I have no preference out of all of the adaptions that I've seen. Bingley's character has to be one of the most lackluster out of the entire book. All of the actors fulfill what is necessary of the Bingley character, which is to just show up, dance with Jane a little, and then split like the spineless dope he is. Yes, I went there and I regret nothing.

Now it's time to rank my adaptions worst to best. I based this ranking on the quality of the acting and the faithfulness to the events in the book.

5. Pride and Prejudice 2005: This is no surprise. I ABHOR this version.
4. Lost in Austen: As much as I enjoy watching this adaption, it screws with Austen's original text so much that I couldn't live with myself if I ranked it higher.
3. Pride and Prejudice 1940: I had to rank this lower on the list because it excludes some rather important plot points. It would have been a really great adaption had the Pemberley visit not been cut out.
2. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Despite the fact that this is a modernization, it has all of the essential plot points from the novel and the characters are wonderfully represented.
1. Pride and Prejudice 1995: This adaption is incredibly loyal to the book and the main actors really capture the characters. This is the movie that I would recommend to everyone, whether they have read the book or not.

I'd say that was a pretty awesome wrap-up and now back to my regular assortment of random posts :)
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