A good friend of mine recently commented that her favorite version of Pride and Prejudice was the Knightley version. Mine had always been the Ehle/Firth version but based on her opinion I decided to give it another go.
It definitely improved on a second watching but I still hold that the Firth/Ehle version is the best version with the following notable scene exceptions:
1) The scene where Bingham rehearses his proposal.
2) The scene where Elizabeth talks to her father about his consent for marrying Mr. Darcy. When Knightley’s character changes her mind about Mr. Darcy I found her performance to become decidedly more engaging and relatable.
3) The scene where Elizabeth meets Georgiana. Merchant did a nice job and the looks between the three were great.
4). I was impressed that Hollander and Woods both gave performances I could fully appreciate given my fondness for the work of Bonham-Carter and Bamber respectively in the alternate version.
I think the brevity got in the way for me and also that I have watched the Firth/Ehle version so very many times that I miss it each time there is a difference. Lastly I felt the film allowed the cinematography to become too dominant at times at the expense of continuity, engagement and story.
I watch the Firth/Ehle version with my wife at least once every other year between Christmas and New Years. I recommend that all men do the same. 🙂
Watching this made me eager to make sure this year is one of them.