Pride and Prejudice (2005)

I've been asked several times over the past 3 years that I've had this blog as to why I haven't included the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. My first answer is that I just haven't got around to it and didn't feel the need to post about it since it has received plenty of publicity. Secondly, I think I felt a sense of loyalty to my favourite version, the classic 1995 miniseries with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle which inspired me to read the novel before I enjoyed that adaptation. But I do find this film, directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen, to be one of the better period dramas out there as I've since discovered plenty of dramas that fail to inspire! I have to say that the cinematography is awesome and while I think that it can't capture the depth of the miniseries, Wright manages to capture the essence of the novel in an abbreviated form. [This DVD has come in handy to loan out to friends who weren't willing to sit through the 6 episodes of the 1995 adaptation but I've not given up hope yet that I can pass on that version to them as well.]

~ CAST ~

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett
(Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn)

Jane and Mary Bennett
(Rosamund Pike and Talulah Riley)

Lydia and Kitty Bennett
(Jena Malone and Carey Mulligan)

Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourg
(Tom Hollander, Judi Dench)

Charles Bingley and sister Caroline
(Simon Woods, Kelly Reilly)

Mr. Wickham
(Rupert Friend)

Charlotte Lucas, Georgiana Darcy
(Claudie Blakley, Tamzin Merchant)

Lizzie with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner
(Peter Wight, Penelope Wilton)

Photo gallery:

If you're a fan of this movie and haven't already discovered Jeane's blog,
check out the Pride and Prejudice (2005) Blog


  1. Donald Sutherland as Mr Bennet really worked for me! The moment in the library after Lizzie has left 'I'm quite at my leisure' was one of the standouts I thought.

    Kelly Reilly was such an insincere, haughty Miss Bingley too - I thought she was brilliant!

    I'll always be faithful to the BBC adaptation though, I was 10 when it was screened here in the UK and it caught my imagination and triggered a love of Jane Austen! :-)

    Jem xXx

  2. This was the first Austen movie that I watched. I've been in love with all of them ever since - but in my opinion, this version is the best and will always be the most special in my heart.


  3. I think the 1995 miniseries is the ultimate adaptation. Everything coming afterwards will always be somehow lame. Much as I love the great Donald Sutherland and Dame Judi Dench, and even if I find Keyra Knightly ravishingly beautiful, I hated the movie.
    You see, my first reading of Pride and Prejudice was when I was 13, the first of dozens, I grew up with these characters and this wonderful story.

    Charleybrow, here's a challenge: would you like to give us your view on Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca and the great 1997 adaptation starring Charles Dance and Emilia Fox?

  4. @Teresa
    I've not seen Rebecca although I've heard of it and I do like both actors especially Dance!

  5. I really hated this version, I could barely finish it. Though the cinematography WAS beautiful I didn't feel that the characters were properly cast and the sentiment it created was treacly. Keira Knightley spent the entire time pouting and gnashing her teeth and Rupert Friend was not a quarter as charming or interesting as Adrian Lukis. I did like Rosamund Pike and Matthew Macfadyen. The latter really made me believe Darcy was SHY rather than haughty, a great twist on a famous character, but for the most part, I felt some actors equated vulgar with high-pitched screeches.

    I really wish people would stop casting Knightley for every single period drama in Hollywood. There are so many better actresses: Romola Garai and all the girls who played the Bennet sisters in this adaptation. I'm so glad Carey Mulligan finally got the appreciation she deserves.

    Arianne from A + B in the Sea

  6. I agree with Arnique and Teresa on this.
    The best adaptation of P&P is so far the 1995 BBC version with Colin Firth and Jenifer Ehle, however the most accurate to the book is the 1980 version with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie.
    Perhaps the thing that I disliked the most about this movie was that they made Mr. Bingley look so goofy, almost like an idiot, and Mr. Darcy was to shy. He did not had the dominant masculine strength that I found so appealing in P&P. I watch just about every adaptation of P&P and it took me a while to warm up to the 2005 version, but after several times watching the movie I learn to enjoy it. I think this adaptation appeals more to the younger generation. Even thought the characters were not very accurate to the book, they all had a charm of their own. My favorite character was Rosamund Pike, she was by far the best Jane Bennet.
    This was a more modern adaptation of P&P, where the strict rules of the time were not follow as they have should. The fashion was a little bit to sloppy for me, it did not had the clean and tidy look as I would want to see. Usually when I see a modern adaptation of an period novel, I prefer to see it “separated” from the novel, even when it has the same story line and the same characters. I like to see it with it’s own independence, like: “Bridget Jones Diary” or “Bride and Prejudice” or a more funny adaptation, like “Lost in Austen”, but when they put that modern feel to the "period" it makes me feel like they have butchered the book.
    With all this said, I still enjoyed the movie (eventually), and I’m sure the 2005 version with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen inspire the love, and curiosity for Jane Austen novels to many of the younger generation, who perhaps before were looking at Jane Austen as nothing more than just another high school boring assignment.

  7. I know everyone praises the 1995 mini-series, but I just don't like the look of it and Colin Firth bores me silly. Admittedly, I love Keira Knightley, so there's my bias right there for this movie, but what I loved most about this version is the earthiness of the late Georgian era. IMO, I find that films set in the Regency era (which includes most Jane Austen adaptations) often look as fussy and rigid as Victorian-set period films. I liked seeing Lizzie's muddy hems from walking everywhere, I liked seeing the candle wax dripping at the ball, the unkempt wigs, the dusty roads, etc. In the context of history, it just seems ironic that the Regency is presented as cool, clean and pristine, and the common image of Victorian England is of coal, grime, and dirt.

  8. @arnique,
    I have to respectfully disagree regarding Rupert Friend. I think he has charm to spare!

    You surprise me. I would have totally pegged you as a fan of Firth and not of Keira's!
    The scrappiness of this version took me aback initially but I agree, it did give it an earthy, realistic feel.

  9. Yay, my favorite version of P&P is finally added here in this beautiful Blog! :)

    Very glad to see this version added here. Thanks Cheryl. I love your blog (as you know) and it's my favorite film sites/blogs to follow and visit too as I've always discovered new period films to watch from your amazing and organized list of films from different times and eras here. I've seen a lot of my favorite period films (P&P, N&S, The Young Victoria, etc.) listed here and discovered more recent and new older ones (ie. Downtown Abbey, The Lost Prince, He Knew He Was Right, Daniel Deronda, Lady Jane, Love In A Cold Climate, etc.) because of this awesome blog and through browsing and finding so many titles you've frequently added, updated and posted/listed here. Thanks a lot Cheryl for all the hard work you do and time you spent in this amazing blog to keep us updated on any new and upcoming period films. Love and appreciate you! You're the BEST! Keep up the great work! :)

    P.S. Thanks also for including my P&P Blog's link in your post here about the 2005 P&P film. I appreciate it. :)

  10. @Jeane
    You're welcome! And always happy to hear when new period dramas are discovered!

  11. Lol...I know..sacrilege to period film fandom! I never could get into Firth (perhaps because my initial impression was made his role in Bridget Jones 1 & 2, and I found Mark Darcy an uptight stick), and I find Keira quite charming as an actress.

  12. I'm with Jeane on thanking to Charleybrown for this wonderful site.
    Thank you Charley!
    I have it on my top favorites, and I'm always browsing for new period movies to watch. I love the fact that you have so much information about new movies and TV shows that are coming out. I'm looking forward for Downtown Abbey season 2 to open in US, and I wonder if they will ever make a season two for Berkeley Square.

    PS: I will like to apologies if my writing looks childish sometimes. English is not my first language, and even thought I can speak fairly well, sometimes when I put words together I can tell that it doesn't "sound" right.

  13. @arianna19742000
    Thanks Arianna! Your writing is fine and I'm pleased to know that you find this blog useful!
    Re: Berkeley Square, I doubt we'll see a 2nd season for that since it was filmed so long ago. But as for Downton Abbey, I'm expecting at least 3 seasons!

  14. I love this version SO much! But I agree, maybe it was because of my age that I felt so related to the characters here. I would recommend all of you guys to watch this series: "Emma: A Victorian Romance" It is a BEAUTIFUL story! Don't be surprised, it is an anime (japanese animation) and the graphic quality in every scenery is astonishing. The overall story has everything: suspense, drama, and romance. I would recommend you guys to see a trailer first. If you like it then look for the chapters that have english subtitles(don't worry, the fans already did this when they uploaded it in youtube)and be ready for a beautiful story! I think you should make space for this anime series in your site. Just a friendly suggestion :)

  15. @Anonymous
    Thanks for mentioning Emma - I stumbled on the Victorian anime last year and was not surprised to find yet another form of period drama out there! The genre knows no bounds!



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