I'm doing some homework this weekend for my final graded blog post. I am still undecided as to whether or not I will continue once the class is over. I am watching all the Pride & Prejudice movies...all seven of them that can be purchased on DVD that is.
I have sat through the 1940 version and the 1980 version and am now on my favorite version: 1995. I will openly admit that this is the first movie that made me love Jane Austen. When I was a senior in high school I read Mansfield Park and was very disappointed. I thought it was an awful love story. Austen was a thing of the past. Then I watched the BBC/A&E version and fell in love. I wanted to know what happened. I was riveted for five nights. I read TV Guide to see what the next episode would bring. I thought surely the trouble was Lizzy's father died and could not imagine it was Lydia running off with Wickham. It was delightful. The music. The costumes. The actors. I adored it all. While I was studying in Wales I am almost ashamed to admit how many hours I spent watching this film with my two good friends. I will whole heartily admit though that Colin Firth on the big screen is amazing. When he proposes to Lizzy the first time it is almost like he is proposing to you.
When I returned from Wales I contacted my godmother and let her know about my Austen love. She too loves Austen and it is because of her that I am such an avid reader. I raved about the 1995 version and she said I had to watch the 1980 version. David Rintoul was amazing as Darcy and his facial expressions could not be touched. So I spent 4.5 hours watching it with her and could not help but compare it to my first P&P. I found fault with everything. It was not as I wanted it to be.
I have even heard older women say that there was no Darcy like Laurence Olivier, who starred in the 1940 version. Do the youth of today prefer Keira Knightly to Jennifer Ehle? Do they want Matthew McFadyen instead of Colin Firth? Are they bewitched body and soul?
What about those that were introduced to Austen through means that did not keep the book in Regency England? Do some women prefer the Bridget Jones update? Are some women keen on Darcy singing and dancing like he does in Bride & Prejudice, the Indian musical version of P & P? Or do people like the Darcy from Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy. Do they find that whimsical update to be what they need? I do find that their Mr. Collins is wonderful. Very Mr. Collins like.
So my godmother and I are at an impasse. I love Colin Firth and she David Rintoul. I love Bride & Prejudice, Bridget Jones's Diary and Pride & Prejudice: A Latter Day Comedy, but the 2005 version I find fault with. It cannot live up to the 1995 version.
Do you have a favorite version? I am interested to see what Lost in Austen has to bring and that will be available the day before taxes are due. I must buy it and see. Another four hours of my life gone to Austen. I do not miss them though or think that they were not well spent. Regardless of which verison I am watching I enjoy the timelessness of the characters and the costumes (except for the 1940 version). I will always prefer the 1005 version, but five hours is sometimes too long to commit to Austen.
So my 16.5 hour Pride & Prejudice marathon continues. I hope I shall finish it all this weekend, but fear I will not. I can always continue it into the next week. Keep reading to see my final graded post....it will be a contest and if you win, you will get a prize! A Jane Austen prize. So look forward and have your own marathon. I must admit you will need it in order to win.
I am excessively diverted.