Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lady Catherine proposed that I post this evening

... and so I shall. My gentleman-caller kindly took me to see "Pride and Prejudice" this evening, with some excellent sushi beforehand. I cannot say it compares to the BBC version. Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth as one of a giggly band of sisters - she's supposed to be the pensive one because she occasionally nances through fields with a book in her hand, but there's not enough intelligence behind her merriment. I missed the wry, understated work of Jennifer Ehle. And why is she constantly seen staring at the wall (or a mirror, I couldn't tell)? Elizabeth is an observer and likes to watch other people; she does not navel-gaze. There's a lot of nancing around with shawls and braids and candles while the music roars and people stare into the distance (indeed, it seems calculated to annoy gentlemen-callers), and there's not enough dialogue. Even Judi Dench & Donald Sutherland don't get enough lines. I did love Brenda Blethyn's performance, and whoever plays Mr. Collins is perfect. He elicits a wonderful look of pure hate from Sutherland with the line "I shall read to you all for an hour or two after dinner." But on the whole, not nearly enough talking. My gentleman-caller was the only man in the theater; as we left, he quietly called to the remaining audience: "Good night, ladies."

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