Pride and Prejudice

Period pieces have become chick flicks for the Emily Post fan club, with exquisite gowns, perfect posture and elegant Shakespearean language. Although director Joe Wright’s first feature technically fits into this category, it doesn’t have the usual syrupy inundation of overacting and regal impracticalities, all in the name of Art. Instead, the latest Jane Austen adaptation electrifies, with Keira Knightley as the stubborn and opinionated Elizabeth, who doesn’t agree with her mom’s (Brenda Blethyn) financial ulterior motives. As Elizabeth bickers with the wealthy and snobbish Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), a web of love, disappointment and misunderstanding blankets the five Bennet sisters with captivating execution—until the welcomed happy ending arrives. Many of Jane Austen’s novels have been adapted to film; even Pride and Prejudice is a page-to-screen repeat. However, this version surpasses all the rest.

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