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PRIDE & PREJUDICE
USA: Focus Features
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike, Jena Malone, Judi Dench, Carey Mulligan, Talulah Riley, Simon Woods, Kelly Reilly, Claudie Blakley, Rupert Friend, Sylvester Morand, Pip Torrens, Janet Whiteside, Sinead Matthews, Roy Holder, Jay Simpson, Rosamund Stephen, Samantha Bloom, Cornelius Booth, Penelope Wilton, Peter Wight, Meg Wynn Owen, Tamzin Merchant, Moya Brady
Director: Joe Wright
USA & UK: 127 mins
USA Rated: PG for some mild thematic elements
UK Certificate: U contains very mild innuendo
USA Release Date: 23 November 2005
USA Release Date: 11 November 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 16 September 2005
The glorious world of Jane Austen is at last brought back to the big screen in all its romance, wit, and emotional force in PRIDE & PREJUDICE. Faithful to the setting and period of the beloved novel and filmed entirely on location in the UK, this is the first film version of the story in 65 years.
The classic tale of love and misunderstanding unfolds in class-conscious England near the close of the 18 th century. The five Bennet sisters - Elizabeth, or Lizzie (Keira Knightley), Jane (Rosamund Pike), Lydia (Jena Malone), Mary (Talulah Riley), and Kitty (Carey Mulligan) - have been raised well aware of their mother's (Brenda Blethyn) fixation on finding them husbands and securing set futures. The spirited and intelligent Elizabeth, however, strives to live her life with a broader perspective, as encouraged by her doting father (Donald Sutherland).
In a rustic corner of England, Mrs. Bennet hears exciting news. A single and wealthy young man has moved into the nearby manor at Netherfield Park. With five daughters and no fortune, she makes it her mission that he should marry one of them.
Obligingly the newcomer, Mr. Charles Bingley (Simon Woods), is immediately taken with eldest daughter Jane, the gentle beauty of the family, at the next boisterous ball. Unfortunately his even more eligible friend, handsome but aloof Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), has no inclination to lower himself among provincials. He declines to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, unaware she overhears his offhand insult.
An invitation from Bingley's haughty sister inspires Mrs. Bennet to send Jane on horseback in the rain so she will have to spend the night. Exceeding her mother's hopes Jane falls ill, and Elizabeth hurries to her. On closer acquaintance Darcy begins to admire lively, witty Lizzy, while it amuses her to nurse her poor impression of him.
The arrival of the militia in town brings dashing Mr. Wickham (Rupert Friend) to Elizabethšs attention, and in their quick intimacy he reveals he has a history with Darcy and has suffered injustice from him. The Bennets also have an unwelcome visitor in pompous Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander), the relative who will inherit their home when Mr. Bennet dies but who offers to marry one of the girls. Deflected from Jane by Mrs. Bennet's confident assertion she is about to become engaged, Mr. Collins fixes on Elizabeth.
The two girls' romantic fates hang on a ball at Netherfield, where Lizzy, disappointed by Mr. Wickham's absence, blames Darcy, and the rest of the Bennets collectively expose themselves with cheerful vulgarity. Immediately after, the Bingley party abruptly depart, leaving Jane heartbroken and Elizabeth indignant. She rejects Mr. Collins' proposal amid domestic uproar. To her dismay, her friend Charlotte Lucas (Claudie Blakley) does, surprisingly, agree to marry Mr. Collins.
Some time later Elizabeth visits the newlyweds and meets Mr. Collins's benefactress, arrogant Lady Catherine de Bourg (Judi Dench). Lady Catherine is entertaining two young men, one of whom, embarrassingly, is Mr. Darcy, who stuns Elizabeth with a passionate but inept declaration of love. She refuses him, accusing him of ruining Janešs happiness and Mr. Wickham's prospects. They part furiously, but he writes her a letter which forces her to see events in a different light, particularly the perfidy of Wickham.
Back home, Elizabeth attempts to intervene when madcap youngest sister Lydia is invited to Brighton on the heels of the departing militia, but her father laughs off her fears for the girl. Lizzy welcomes an escape, accompanying her respectable aunt and uncle on a tour of the Peak District. When they insist on visiting Darcy's magnificent Derbyshire estate Pemberley, however, Lizzy is mortified to run into Mr. Darcy himself and is thrown into turmoil by his warm welcome.
Just as it seems the two may come to an understanding, a scandalous crisis erupts. Lydia has run away with Wickham. Anxious suspense turns to relief when a marriage is somehow arranged. Lydia and Wickham return triumphantly and she lets slip that Mr. Darcy was responsible for their good fortune and wedding. Now, when it may be too late, Elizabeth realises how much she loves him. The sudden return of Bingley, accompanied by Darcy, raises hope that Elizabeth and Darcy can see past their pride and prejudices to a well-suited future together.