Pride & Prejudice (2005 film)

Pride & Prejudice (2005 film)

name = Pride & Prejudice

director = Joe Wright
producer = Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Paul Webster
writer = Deborah Moggach (based on the novel by Jane Austen)
starring = Keira Knightley
Matthew Macfadyen
Brenda Blethyn
Donald Sutherland
Tom Hollander
Rosamund Pike
Jena Malone
Judi Dench
Simon Woods
Rupert Friend
Carey Mulligan
Talulah Riley
cinematography = Roman Osin
music = Dario Marianelli
(Piano performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet)
editing = Paul Tothill
Country = United Kingdom
distributor = Focus Features
released = UK
September 16, 2005
November 23, 2005
February 23, 2006
runtime = 129 min.
language = English
budget = $28,000,000
gross = $121,147,947
imdb_id = 0414387
amg_id = 1:309976

Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 film based on the popular Jane Austen novel of the same name. This second major motion-picture, Academy Award-nominated version was produced by Working Title Films, directed by Joe Wright and based on a screenplay by Deborah Moggach. It was released on September 16, 2005 in the UK and on November 11, 2005 in the US.


The story takes place at the turn of the 19th century in rural England. The Bennet family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters - Jane, Elizabeth (Lizzy), Mary, Kitty (Catherine), and Lydia - live in comparative financial independence on a working farm, Longbourn. As Longbourn is destined to be inherited by Mr. Bennet's cousin, Mr. Collins, Mrs. Bennet is anxious to marry off her five daughters before Mr. Bennet dies. However, Elizabeth, the heroine, is convinced that she will never marry unless she is compelled by true love.

Mr. Bingley, a wealthy bachelor who has recently moved into Netherfield, a large house in the neighborhood, is introduced to local society at an assembly ball, along with his haughty sister, Caroline, and reserved friend, Mr. Darcy, who "owns half of Derbyshire." Bingley is enchanted with the gentle and beautiful Jane, while Elizabeth takes an instant dislike to Darcy after he coldly rebuffs her attempts at conversation and she overhears him describe her as "not handsome enough to tempt me." When Jane becomes sick on a visit to Netherfield, Elizabeth goes to stay with her, and verbally spars with Caroline and Darcy.

Later the Bennets are visited by Mr. Collins, a pompous minister who talks of nothing but his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Meanwhile, the handsome and charming Lieutenant Wickham of the newly-arrived militia captures the girls' attention and tells Elizabeth that Darcy cheated him of his inheritance. At a ball at Netherfield, Elizabeth accepts to dance with Mr. Darcy, but vows to her plain friend Charlotte Lucas that she has "sworn to loathe him for all eternity". When Mr. Darcy does not seem to join in Elizabeth's conversation attempts, they begin to spar. Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth soon after, but she (with support from her father) refuses him despite her mother's hysterics. When Bingley unexpectedly returns to London, Elizabeth dispatches Jane to their aunt and uncle in London, the Gardiners. Elizabeth is later appalled to learn that Charlotte will marry Mr. Collins to gain financial security.

When Elizabeth visits the Collinses months later, they dine at the place of the overbearing Lady Catherine, and meet Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, Lady Catherine's nephews. Darcy takes a greater interest in Elizabeth when she replies to Lady Catherine's jabs with spirited wit. Shortly after Colonel Fitzwilliam lets slip to Elizabeth that Darcy broke up Bingley and Jane, Darcy tracks her down and proposes marriage, admitting his love despite her lower rank. Elizabeth refuses, citing his treatment of Jane and Wickham, and they argue fiercely. The altercation ends when Darcy and Elizabeth appear to be moving forward to kiss. They do not, however, and Darcy leaves angry and heartbroken. He returns only to give her a letter, explaining he misjudged Jane's affection for Bingley. The letter also exposes Wickham as a gambler who secretly but ultimately unsuccessfully courted Darcy's 15-year-old sister, Georgiana, to obtain her £30,000 inheritance.

Elizabeth does not tell Jane what she has learnt. Instead, the Gardiners take Elizabeth on a trip to the Peak District and visit Darcy's estate, Pemberley. Elizabeth is stunned by its wealth and beauty and hears nothing but good things about Darcy from his housekeeper. Then she accidentally runs into Darcy, who invites her and the Gardiners to meet his sister. His manners have softened considerably, and Georgiana takes an instant liking to Elizabeth. When Elizabeth learns that her immature and flirtatious youngest sister Lydia, who was sent on holiday unsupervised, has run away with Wickham, she tearfully blurts out the news to Darcy before returning home. Her family assumes their ruin for having a "fallen" sister, but they are soon relieved to hear that Mr. Gardiner has discovered the pair in London, and that they will be married. Lydia accidently lets slip later that it was Mr Darcy who found them and who paid for the marriage.

When Bingley and Darcy return to Netherfield, Jane accepts Bingley's proposal of marriage. The same evening, Lady Catherine pays Elizabeth a surprise visit and insists that Elizabeth renounce Darcy as he will marry her own daughter, Anne. Elizabeth refuses, and unable to sleep, she goes walking on the moors at dawn. She meets Darcy, who has also been unable to sleep after hearing of his aunt's behavior. He admits his continued love, and Elizabeth accepts his second proposal. Mr Bennet gives his consent after Elizabeth assures him of her love to Darcy. In the U.S. version of the film, an additional last scene shows a newly-married Elizabeth and Darcy outside of their Pemberley estate showing deep affection for each other.

Cast (in order of appearance)

*Keira Knightley as "Elizabeth Bennet"
*Talulah Riley as "Mary Bennet"
*Rosamund Pike as "Jane Bennet"
*Jena Malone as "Lydia Bennet"
*Carey Mulligan as "Kitty Bennet"
*Donald Sutherland as "Mr. Bennet"
*Brenda Blethyn as "Mrs. Bennet"
*Claudie Blakley as "Charlotte Lucas"
*Simon Woods as "Mr.Charles Bingley"
*Kelly Reilly as "Caroline Bingley"
*Matthew Macfadyen as "Mr. Darcy"
*Rupert Friend as "Mr. Wickham"
*Tom Hollander as "Mr. Collins"
*Judi Dench as "Lady Catherine de Bourgh"
*Rosamund Stephen as "Miss de Bourgh"
*Cornelius Booth as "Colonel Fitzwilliam"
*Penelope Wilton as "Mrs. Gardiner"
*Peter Wight as "Mr. Gardiner"
*Meg Wynn Owen as "Mrs. Reynolds"
*Tamzin Merchant as "Georgiana Darcy"

Co-producer Paul Webster had found the casting of Darcy difficult because of the character's iconic status and because "Colin Firth cast a very long shadow" as the Darcy from the 1995 television adaptation.cite web |last=Alberge |first=Dalya |url= |title=Hunt for Darcy nets star of TV spy drama |publisher="The Times" |date=June 11, 2004 |accessdate=2008-06-02]


Adaptation of the novel

Most works of literature undergo significant cuts when adapted for film; in this production, the story was compressed into 2 hours and 9 minutes of screen time. Some of the most notable changes from the original book include:

* Heavy time compression of several major sequences, including Elizabeth’s visit to Rosings Park and Hunsford Parsonage, Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley, and Lydia’s elopement and its subsequent crisis.

* The elimination of several supporting characters, including Louisa Hurst, Mr. Hurst, Maria Lucas, Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, the Gardiners' children, and various military officers and townspeople.

* The elimination of several sections in which characters reflect or converse on events that have recently occurred - for example, Elizabeth's chapter-long change of mind after reading Darcy's letter.

The filmmakers changed several scenes to more romantic locales than the ones in the book. For instance, in the film, Darcy first proposes outdoors in a rainstorm near a beautiful lake; in the book, this scene takes place inside a parsonage. In the film, his second proposal occurs on the misty moors as dawn breaks; in the book, he and Elizabeth are walking down a country lane in broad daylight.

The American release version included a final scene (not in the novel) of the married Darcys enjoying a romantic evening at Pemberley. This ending did not test well with British audiences, so it was cut for UK and international release. The British version ends with Mr. Bennet's blessing upon Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's union, thus circumventing the last chapter in the novel, which summarizes the lives of the Darcys and the other main characters over the next several years.


It was filmed entirely on location within England in the summer of 2004 and used several stately homes, including Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and Wilton House in Salisbury (as Pemberley), Groombridge Place in Kent (as Longbourn), Basildon Park in Berkshire (as Netherfield Park) and Burghley House in Lincolnshire (as Rosings - the adjacent town of Stamford served as Meryton). The Temple of Apollo and Palladian Bridge of Stourhead also appeared (as the Gardens of Pemberley).

Director Joe Wright was the only P&P director to use complex, sweeping tracking shots that last several minutes, travel through multiple rooms, and highlight the different activities of many people. This technique creates a strong feeling of exploring an entire area in one shot.Fact|date=April 2008


Critical reception

The 2005 film was only the second faithful film version after "the famed, but oddly flawed, black-and-white 1940 adaptation, starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier",cite web |last=Briscoe |first=Joanna |authorlink=Joanna Briscoe |url= |title=A costume drama with muddy hems |publisher="The Times"|date=July 31, 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-02] and until 2005, "The Times" considered the 1995 television adaptation starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth "so dominant, so universally adored, [that] it has lingered in the public consciousness as a cinematic standard". Comparing six major adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice" in 2005, the "Daily Mirror" gave the only top marks of 9/10 to the 1995 serial and the 2005 film, leaving the other adaptations behind with six and less points.citation |last=Edwards |first=David |authorlink=David Edwards (journalist) |title=Pride and Passion |publisher="Daily Mirror" |date=September 9, 2005] The 2005 film is rated 85% fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. [ [ Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes ] ] Metacritic reported "Pride & Prejudice" had an average score of 82 out of 100, based on 37 reviews, and classified the film as a universal acclaim. [cite web|url= |title=Pride & Prejudice (2005 film): Reviews |accessdate=2008-02-21 |publisher=Metacritic]

Some critics noted the 2005 film's time constraints to not capture the depth and complexity of the television serials, and called the film "obviously [not as] daring or revisionist" as the 1995 TV serial.cite web |last=Bradshaw |first=Peter |authorlink=Peter Bradshaw |url=,,1570740,00.html |title=Pride & Prejudice |publisher="The Guardian" |date=September 16, 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-02] Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Jane Austen Society of North America, preferred the young age of Knightley and Macfadyen, saying that Jennifer Ehle had formerly been "a little too 'heavy' for the role",cite web |last=Hastings |first=Chris |url= |title=Colin Firth was born to play Mr Darcy. So can anyone else shine in the lead role? |publisher="The Daily Telegraph" |date=August 8, 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-03] while Peter Bradshaw of "The Guardian", while heavily praising Keira Knightley for having given an outstanding performance as Lizzy Bennet "which lifts the whole movie", considered the casting of the 2005 leads "arguably a little more callow than Firth and Ehle". He does add that "Only a snob, a curmudgeon, or someone with necrophiliac loyalty to the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle could fail to enjoy her performance." Critics were divided about Matthew Macfadyen's portrayal of Darcy, expressing pleasant surprise, dislike for his lack of gradual emotional shift as in the novel, and praise for his matching the insecure and sensitive personality of the book character better than Firth.cite web |last=Holden |first=Stephen |authorlink=Stephen Holden |url= |title=Pride & Prejudice (2005) – Marrying Off Those Bennet Sisters Again, but This Time Elizabeth Is a Looker |publisher="The New York Times" |date=November 11, 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-02] Garth Pearce of "The Sunday Times" did not observe any significant impact of Macfadyen's Darcy, noting in 2007 that "Colin Firth will forever be remembered as the perfect Mr Darcy". [cite web |last=Pearce |first=Garth |url= |title=On the move: Colin Firth |publisher="The Sunday Times" |date=June 17, 2007 |accessdate=2008-05-19]

Box office

The movie took the number one spot in the UK its first week, earning £2.5 million ($4.5 million) while playing on 400 screens. It stayed on the top spot for two more weeks, earning a total of over £14 million at the UK box office at that time and was featured on 1,335 screens at its widest domestic release.

The film debuted with an opening weekend of US$2.9 million on 215 screens. Two weeks later, this was increased to 1,299 screens, and box office returns increased to $7.2 million. The film has grossed over $121,147,947 worldwide at the cinema box office.


"Pride & Prejudice" garnered a number of nominations in the 2005/2006 film awards season, notably four nominations in the Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role for Keira Knightley, Achievement in Art Direction, Achievement in Costume Design for Jacqueline Durran, and Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) for Dario Marianelli's score. It was nominated for five BAFTAs, and won the BAFTA Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer (for Joe Wright, director). [ [ Pride & Prejudice (2005) - Awards ] ]


ee also

*Pride & Prejudice
*Pride & Prejudice soundtrack
*Jane Austen

External links

* [ Official website]
*imdb title|id=0414387|title=Pride & Prejudice
*rotten-tomatoes|id=pride_and_prejudice|title=Pride & Prejudice
* [ "Pride & Prejudice" Companion Book]
* [ "Pride & Prejudice" Production Notes]

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