Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

Pride and Prejudice: 1995 BBC miniseries vs 2005 Movie

Posted by MAaP on September 26, 2007

Pride and Prejudice is one of the most beloved classics of all time. The romantic story revolving around two of the greatest characters has captured many readers in the world. The heroine Ms. Elizabeth Bennet has attracted us with her wit and intelligence rare in the period set in the novel. The lead male character Mr. Darcy, with his standards and proud aura, has captivated many as well.

With the novel receiving many favorable reviews and getting favorable critiques, it was expected that the story would be adapted into the screen. There were many versions and adaptations, but the two most popular would be that of the 1995 BBC mini series, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and the 2005 film, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.

1995 BBC TV serial

BBC Pride and PrejudiceBBC’s Pride and Prejudice was composed of 6 episodes, and the entire series pretty much stuck loyally with the events of the novel. Audiences loved it, and the Rotten Tomatoes has given it a perfect 100%!

One look at Jennifer Ehle and you’re sure that she’s great for the role. She exhibits intelligence and sharpness that holds true to the character of Elizabeth Bennet.Firth as Darcy and Ehle as Elizabeth

Colin Firth has also brought about a great impression as Mr. Darcy. Both of them, him and Mathew MacFadyen, has been praised for their performances as the silent and serious hero.

2005 Film

Pride and Prejudice 2005Unlike the British TV serial which remained with the main storyline of the novel, the film had many changes. This is understandable as following the novel in its entirety would result in very long long long long movie. Scenes had to be cut and the storyline had to be revised in order to adapt it to the big screen.

Keira Knightley was nominated for an Oscar with her role as Elizabeth Bennet. She was also the only one of the Elizabeths that was of the same age as the character.Knightley as Elizabeth and Macfadyen as Darcy

Matthew MacFadyen delivers a more brooding and silent Mr. Darcy, and is being compared with Colin Firth as to who is the best Mr. Darcy.

The movie is particularly complimented on director Joe Wright’s use of complex and sweeping shots that lasts several minutes. It eventually won him the BAFTA Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

Aside from Keira Knightley’s nomination and Joe Wright’s award, Pride and Prejudice 2005 also garnered three more nominations in the Academy Awards (Achievement in Art Direction, Achievement in Costume Design, and Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures ), and four more nominations in the BAFTAs.

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57 Responses to “Pride and Prejudice: 1995 BBC miniseries vs 2005 Movie”

  1. Tina Gerow said

    I’m a huge Pride & Prejudice fan and have seen both the Colin Firth and the Matthew Macfadyen versions (many times) as well as reading the book. The 1995 Keira Knightly/Matthew Macfadyen version is my favorite of the two, but I think that has a lot to do with me being a huge Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightly fan. (I love Colin Firth too, but prefer his more recent comedy roles to his serious roles.) Also, I truly enjoyed the sweeping film shots in the 2nd one that were alluded to above. I truly enjoyed how the way the sweeping film making and directing choices enhanced the mood of the movie, which definitely helped put it into my list of “favorite all time movies.”

  2. porsi said

    I think I’m also biased. I like the movie better because of Matthew Macfadyen. Colin Firth was also great but I liked Matthew’s expressions better. Colin’s was more realistic and loyal to the novel, but Matthew’s gave a more charismatic meaning to the role.

    I’m not really into Keira Knightley, but she gave a great performance. Jennifer Ehle also gave justice to the role; she has the looks of a strong-willed woman.

    i also like the movie better because of the supporting characters. There were characters in the British serial that just didn’t suit my taste. I can’t quite get over Ms. Bingley, for example. She didn’t seem so sophisticated to me, as should be. Still, their performances were… what was the word? ahhh.. capital!

  3. Sarah said

    Personally I found the ‘Hollywood’ version of the timeless classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’ an absolute disgrace!

    It shamefully neglected the story line and the acting on the behalf of both Keira and that other fellow was utterly shocking!

    It was painful to watch and on numerous occasions my stomach positively turned and felt ill at the obscene disregard of a number of strict customs that were accentuated in the BBC version.

    All in all. The most recent Pride and Prejudice was a knife in the heart of any true P&P fan.

    • Aimee said

      Agreed. The script was rubbish and little attention was paid to historical accuracy. Compared to the BBC mini-series, it seemed almost amateur.

    • June said

      I agree with both Sarah and Aimee!

      Keira Knightley’s acting is just as bad as Kristen Stewart’s acting! All they do is pout their lips and keep their mouths open in order to show emotion.

    • Abby said

      I agree. the ’05 movie was a disaster. Knightly played Lizzie without grace or intelligence. The character is very thoughtful and reflective in the novel. Knightly is impulsive and silly. The “Hollywood” version had nothing to do with Austen’s work. The 1995 version was much superior. If you like Austen’s writing, characters, humor, and storyline, see the 1995 version. The ’05 version is a perversion.

      • I thought Keira’s acting was coquettish, flirty, silly with no substance at all. She kept doing this strange thing with her eyes, looking sideways. There is absolutely no comparison to the 1995 version, which was far superior, and portrayed Lizzy as the most sensible person in the household.

    • p&p<3 said

      amen!!!! the two versions simply cannot be compared!! the absolute ONLY advantage the 2005 movie has over the 1995 miniseries is that it was a bit more artistic music and camera-wise. I enjoyed that, but to compare it to the almost perfect amazingness of the BBC p&p is ridiculous. I don’t care if the series is as old as I am ..haha:).. it was wayy better, stuck with the story, and it had the perfect Darcy 😉 hehe.Colin Firth..<3. and Jennifer Ehle was a perfect Elizabeth. :)) the end. ❤

    • eileen pierce said

      Agree. The movie was fine, but was NOT P+P–much like the Olivier version, it was more of a take-off than an attempt to present the timeless characters created by Austen. The actor playing Darcy played him as a weak, effeminate, uncertain man, which is most decidedly not the written Darcy envisioned by Austen. The scriptwriters are pertly at fault for that, as the line, “I loff,..loff..loff..love you” was embarrassing to watch and hear. The early , at that time, acclaimed, Olivier version was a misguided attempt to turn P+P into a British GWTW, with added buffoonery, carriage chases–yuck. Firth and Ehe are not likely to be improved upon, frankly. Nobody could do it better.

  4. Jo said

    i totally agree with Sarah, this new version of Pride and Prejudice was an absoltuely disgrasful attempt to rewaken Pride and Prejudice anybody who read the book will agree that the whole movie is wrong from the characters to the settings and even the words, toatlly aweful, Mr Darcy wasn’t even good looking and Kiera Knightley was so bad for the role that it is not funny, i absolutley hated it!!!!

  5. Tanaka said

    The movie version was, in my opinion, a monstrosity! I cannot believe that people would actually spend money to ruin such historically divine work…As a Literature student there is a fine line between absurdity and sublime and quite frankly the movie version was nothing but absurd. I would prefer to sit down for that 330 minutes to watch the 1995 version than the 1 hr odd of the movie.
    Personally i dont believe this is how Jane Austen would have wanted her novel to be interpreted and i wont bash the director/producer but i would like to request to him/her that in the event that they want to dramatize a novel do not let another “hollywood version of Pride and Prejudice” happen again.
    ….::TIKI::…

  6. Kayte said

    When i first heard of the making of the latest P&P movie. I knew instantly it would be a poor adaptation of the book. It is impossible to capture the essence of such a great piece of literature in just one hour.
    I enjoyed the 1995 adaptation immensly as it is true to the book and the characters were portrayed as best they could especially Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet. Portraying Elizabeth Bennet is something which Keira Knightley failed to do.

  7. shiftee said

    Looks like the movie isn’t as well-loved as I thought.. ^_^

  8. MARIA said

    I actually find very disappointing the 2005 version..Even though i liked both Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen very much, because both of them are closer to how i imagined the protagonists to be when i read the novel (i meam physical appearance), the story line and the changes in the plot in general very bad. It seemed to me as they trying to talk as fast as they could just to be able to put as much as they could in 2 hours. The 1995 BBC version was much better. Colin Firth was excellent..

  9. Grace said

    2005 P&P movie is an abomination! The acting is horrible. I do not know how any one of them managed to get acting nominations. They all sounded like they were reading from a book specially the character who played Mr. Darcy.

  10. Milya said

    20005 Pride and Prejudice is undoubtedly a rubbish.If u compare the acting between Colin Firth and Matthew u’ll will find a huge difference.Colin Firth represented Mr Darcy so perfect Mattthew couldn’t do a bit.

  11. Lizzy said

    Of course it is purely subjective so all this ‘abomination’ lark is foolish. In my opinion however, the 1995 version is heads and shoulders above others. I do think that this is largely down to the performance of Jennifer Ehle though. She IS Elizabeth Bennett in that adaption. And Colin Firth is simply the perfect accompanying Darcy. Pure chemistry.

  12. Pride said

    Since I’m sure actual reasons to prefer one over the other have been hashed and rehashed by now, I’m going to take a page from the book of the rabidly fanatical fans of the 1995 version, and give some upsetting opinions of mine without any actual backup.

    Jennifer Ehle is NOT ugly, so I’m baffled as to how they made her look so awful in this version. Jane was a man. Colin Firth was brilliant, but then, he always is. I’m also baffled as to how every single person’s dress was always perfectly pressed and bleached, and everyone’s hair was perfectly corkscrewed and gelled. Yeah, that’s REALLY late 18th/early 19th century to me. If I wanted lines verbatim, I’d read the book.

  13. Miliya said

    I have to disagree about Jane not being more beautiful than Elizabeth. For me, Susannah Harker who played Jane had the just the right amount of sweetness, and she was definitely the type of beauty that was popular during the Regency.At that period blond hair , her boyish feature was popular and for these reasons she was selected and what is the problem if everyone is perfectly make-uped?

  14. Harold Birkenhead said

    I am behooved by some of the reviews I see concerning the movie version of P&P. It too is my favorite Jane Austen novel and I thought the movie was simply superb. Prior to my decision I agrred with many that the 1995 verson was excellent. I agree that Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle were superb, but the continuour mubackground music in the 1995 version at some points became annoying. In the movie Matthew McFadden and Kiera Knightly were mesmerizing in their performances, McFadden’s Mr Darcy was indeed the best. Ms Bennett in the 1995 version was simply overbearing crass and screachingly loud. Caroline Bennet looked like a peacock in the 1995 version, much more refined and sophistcated in the movie. I actually believe that the actors in the movie complimented each other quite nicley were in the 1995 some fell out of place. The costumes in the 1995 were not as exact as the 2005 movie version which seemed to indicate a lot more research was done. My most favorite scene in the movie was when Mr Darcy first proposed on a veranda in the rain.. excellent coorespondance and you got the feeling they were just about to kiss before he apologizes for taking up too much of her time… Great Scene. Another great scene was Lizzy not being able to sleep walks out on the small overpass on the brook and sees Mr Darcy coming from afar, another great and fixating scene follows. In 1995 version, I didn’t get that feeling like the movie that really, here are two people who do love each other and trying so hard to reach the other… This movie was not only the best production of Pride and Prejudice, but the best movie I have ever seen. I believe that regardless of editing and liberties, she would be delighted with this version who simply did her novel justice.

    • Charles said

      I believe that film and novel are two completely distinct and separate media-one form can not fully represent the other. However it is possible for each to tell the same story but tell it differently. And if the story is told effectively no one form can in any real sense mimic the other. The arguments of those who claim they posses a true understand of the novel, is absolutely ludicrous, because the meaning or true sense of the novel changes with each successive generation of readers-thank God-that is why Pride and Prejudice is still read and enjoyed today. I enjoyed both the 1995 version and 2005. I appreciate the stripped down version of the 2005. I enjoyed the ‘psychological’ rendering of Darcy and the ‘hyper’-almost-juvenile emotional portrayal of Elizabeth. I absolutely enjoyed the surprising intensive look at the dynamics of the Bennett family. I got a unique sense of the distinct character of all five Bennett sisters. Sure many of the characters and some of the scenes from the 1995 version and the book were deleted-but these features were sacrifice for a more detailed and nuance ‘version’ of Jane Austin’s time. I also like that the era represented in the film is closer to time when Austin wrote Pride and Prejudice (1790’s) than the early Regency (after 1810) when the book developed its popularity.

      • Aimee said

        Charles,
        Miss Austen began work on the first version of the novel in 1796 and finished it in mid 1797. The novel was rejected by publishers. Some years later, in 1811 and 1812, Miss Austen made extensive revisions, and the book was finally published in 1813. The style of clothing known as Regency was well-established fashion by 1795 and lasted until well into the 1820s. Ladies of Elizabeth Bennet’s station in life, at that point in history, would have dressed quite differently to what was portrayed in the 2005 version, and the majority of society would have displayed much better manners than was shown.

    • Amy said

      Amen 🙂

  15. Norma said

    I love both versions, I even like the old movie with Greer Garson. My dream P&P would have Colin as Darcy and Knightly as Elizabeth. Also, i like the sisters from 2005, but the parents from 1995.

  16. Megs said

    I think what needs to be taken into consideration is the intentions of Jane Austen when she wrote her novel. Yes Ms Bennet in the 1995 version is over bearing and loud, however that is how Austen wrote her. I think people need to remember that this is not a love story, its a satire. And as such the characters are written in a somewhat absurd way because she is making a point about a certain type of person or convention. I believe the 1995 version is much more in tune with the original intentions of the author, however for people looking for a love story the 2005 version fills that role, with romantic flair.

  17. Elaine Henley said

    The 1995 mini-series is/was the quintessential P+P. Firth is the perfect Darcy–using small expressions, motions,body language,distinctive walk, standing positions,vocal tones to convey all of what every person who has ever read P+P believes Darcy to be–when in fact, Jane Austen did little to “flesh him out”. It was a masterful performance. Ehle too played her part perfectly, as her award suggests. She is beautiful, but not in the modern plastic sense. She appears as a woman with a perfect “English country” face, and certainly with “fine eyes”. MacFadyen and Knightly are reasonable, but Keira overplays the part by being more impish and less intelligent that Jane wrote. MacFadyen is far too feminine, and conveyed true feelings facially throughout–from the immediate earnest look he gives to Elizabeth immediately at the country dance,his caving immediately (with facial expressions) when he 1st proposes, to the awful line used in the USA version, about what he should call her. Darcy was written to hide his feelings, as propriety demanded–MacFayden played him as open and obvious. The movie was also incomprehensible in story line to anyone who did not know the story (well) beforehand. Many important characters are not in the movie, and thus character development was nearly impossible. Ehle/Firth version was a 10. The 2005 movie was a 5. But, compared to the Olivier version–a pathetic effeminate “British Gone with the Wind”, complete with hoop skirts, which was a 1, still the better of the two movie versions.

  18. Becca said

    My research that I found on the adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, “Pride and Prejudice” into the 1995 version and the 2005 version were mixed reviews. Some absolutely loved the 2005 version and hated the 1995 version. Some absolutely loved the 1995 version and hated the 2005 version. From researching the movie reviewers, I understood why they liked one version more than the other. In my personal opinion, I prefer the 1995 version more than the 2005. First, I grew up watching the BBC version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I also enjoy this version more because the screenplay follows the book very closely, and the actors portray these characters in a way that Austen intended her characters to be portrayed. I admit, it is long, and it is hard for me to sit through a long movie, but this story needs to be long for the purpose of seeing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett change. The time it takes for these two to change seems like a long time, but I believe it would take a long time for any person to change in the ways that they do. There are many events that happen in the story to result in that change, so it is necessary for the length of time. This movie portrays character development so well. I think this is the best movie that I have seen that portrays the characters and their character developments. I feel for the characters because I have watched them for long enough to see them slowly starting to change into the person they need to become. I highly recommend it over the 2005 version.

  19. PPFan said

    I expected that the story line would be significantly condenced in the 05 version but I did not expect it to blatantly rip apart the story line of the original work the way that it did. Some examples of things it got completely wrong:

    1. The relationship between Mr & Mrs Bennet, the 2005 adaptation showed them to have a sparring relationship which overlayed a genuine affection and tenderness. This is simply WRONG, Mr Bennet was taken in by good looks and quickly grew to completely disrespect his wife. He did not love or respect her in the slightest and the only pleasure she gave him was in his ability to enjoy tormenting her through his superior intellect. This is spelled out in the book and completley misrepresented in the movie.

    2. The dress and comportment of the characters, they may live in the country but they also lived in a manor house with plenty of servants. In the book Mrs Bennet is quite clear that none of her daughters have anything to do with the kitchen and yet in the 2005 movie we saw them in there continually (as though it was a sitting room), pigs ran wild through the house (which is certainly not how it was portrayed by Ms Austen), and they all seemed to be wearing burlap sacks constantly. I think that they were aware of the cleansing properties of steam and hot water and did have several maids to iron their clothes and do their hair. The BBC version is an acurate portrayl of fashion (both hair and dress) during that time. 2005 version is NOT.

    3. Still on the comportment of the characters, Lady Catherine arriving at the Bennet family home in the middle of the night was not only completely unnecessary it would never have been done by a Lady of her station in that time period. It simply wouldn’t, under any circumstance, have taken place and there was no need for it in the context of the story line.

    3. The final scene where they Mr Darcy & Lizzy (though I shudder to term the imposters as such) walk out across the paddocks, he from Netherfield & she from Longbourn, and just happen to find each other in the mist…. It is three miles from Longbourn to Netherfield, and being first thing in the morning how did they each know the other was going to walk out? How did they even find each other? It is ridiculous.

    To be put plainly, the 2005 version was simply too contrived, too melodramatic and not at all faithful to the time period in which it was set or the story on which it was (apparently) based.

    • Aimee said

      Hear, hear! And let us also mention that in the 2005 version, when Elizabeth is staying at the parsonage at Rosings Park, Mister Darcy actually creeps into the house, unannounced, at night, finds Elizabeth in her bedroom, and drops a letter off for her.

    • Lu said

      indeed, indeed. And to a add on, I think nobody in the beginning of the 19th century would have spoken in a better manner to each other, no matter how offended they were. They diffently would not shout at each other like in 05.

  20. Kirsty said

    Don’t like the movie. Anyone who has read the book would know the movie completely missed the point. What I hate most is they tried to soften the upper class snobbery (there’s even some inverse snobbery there, Lizzy actually said “He’s too rich”!). Give me a break, it’s a social satire! That Darcy is rubbish, he looks mournful and awkward. And why does he sound a bit apologetic about his superior social status? In their efforts to “modernize” Darcy, they take away part of his appeal.

  21. Phil said

    Thank heavens for like minded people, however scarse!!!

    I attempted to watch Pride & Prejudice (2005 Film version) on a flight home shortly after its release. With fond memories of the original text as well as the brilliant 1995 TV adaptation, this 2005 film version was unwatchable. I have never seen such banal acting, I was in complete disbelief as to the reviews that this movie had received.

    Yes, granted, the staging difficulties of any film adaptation necessitate a more compressed telling of a story………. but this film was flat & tedious throughout!!!

    It did inspire me though, I arrived home and dusted off the old VHS tapes of the 1995 BBC miniseries. I watched episode after episode into the early hours of the morning………..
    I was once more captivated and gripped by it.

    The producers of this 2005 ‘Film’ should have changed the Title of the movie, (brackets, loosely based on the Story Pride & Prejudice) ……….advertised as yet another Bridgette Jones style plot, only not as good!

  22. Annissa said

    I must say the 2005 version will always be my favorite. I suppose I take a different attitude with me when I watch a movie that was based on a book. When books are made into film they rarely stay true to what was written. (Stephen King kills off the little boy in the book “Cujo” yet he survives in the movie!) The book serves as a starting point – for lack of a better term. If I wanted to “see” the book I would read the book. A movie opens the story up to the interpretation of the director – that is what is put on film. I enjoy watching something created from another’s perspective. I prefer the story Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr Darcy told through his facial and other expressions (for me it’s more than just the words that come out his mouth).
    My only complaint is that men like Darcy exist in music and literature and not in our modern world!

  23. MD8104 said

    I am watching this film and I am getting annoyed at Jane’s ugliness. I know this is terrible to say and completely unfair. I feel like the rest of the casting is great, but I can’t be sold to the idea that Bingley-or anyone could really be attracted to her. I imagined a lovely brunette and I get a gym teacher in bonnet… She is manly and out of character

  24. Tallulah said

    I agree with everyone who has negative comments about the 2005 version.

    Basically, all those complaints, in conjunction with mine (which I can’t be bothered going into) boil down to the 2005 version missing the fact that Pride and Prejudice is a romantic comedy.

    Did you hear that, people? A ROMANTIC COMEDY.

    When did you laugh in that version? And how many times did you laugh in the 1995 version?

    The 2005 version is GREAT, but it’s not Pride and Prejudice. Matthew Macfayden is LOVELY and SWEET….but he’s not Mr Darcy.

    Mrs Bennett is supposed to be FUNNY. She was a little silly and very motherly.
    Mr Collins is supposed to be FUNNY. He was really sad and lonely – I was sympathetic! Not good!
    Lady Catherine is supposed to be FUNNY. She was – gah, how can you put the awesomeness of Dame Judy Dench in that role?!
    Mary is supposed to be FUNNY. She was just blah.
    Mr Bennett is supposed to be FUNNY. Donald was great, and he did a few of the good lines, but did not carry out the sarcasm that IS Mr Bennett.

    Gah, I was not going to go into it. I failed.

    Grr. 2005 just ANNOYS me. It’s beautiful, but ANNOYING.

  25. Tella said

    I have watched both. And I have read the book numerous times before watching either and I have come to this conclusion: A movie and a book should NEVER be compared to eachother, they or two different types of media. Therefore, saying that the 1995 version is better because it sticks to the book (which is the only somewhat proper point people have) is ridiculous! Colin Firth is a good actor, but should stick to comedies (Bridget Jones) otherwise he is way out of his league. I was completely disappointed by ALL the other actors and this portrayel. I could have done a better job and I have no talent whatsoever. They lacked ALL emotion and expression – even in consideration of when the story was mean to take place (1790 not 1810). The 2005 version was much better, it took the story and made it it’s own. Actual talent was used! Keira and Matthew were phenomenal along with the rest of the cast, the music and the screen shots. This movie gave me great respect for all who were involved in it, including Keira Knightley who I was not such a huge fan of previously.

    The 2005 version is MUCH better than the 1995 version and I am saying this from an educated, well-reseached and un-prejudiced point of view.

    • Aimee said

      If you were saying this from an educated point of view, you would know that the first version of the novel was written mostly in 1797, extensively reworked in 1811 and 1812, and finally published in 1813. So to say that the novel is set 1810 would be far more accurate than to place it in 1790. Your research is lacking.

    • Abby said

      They should state that the movie is loosely based on an adaptation of the book, rather than title it directly after the book. Therein lies the problem. The ’05 movie did not use the characterization, storyline, humor, cultural mores of the time, nor the theme of the book. Therefore it should not be titled after the book. It was not reflective of it at all, so why use Austen’s title?

  26. India said

    Oh it is clear that those who are so harsh of the newer version are true Jane Austen adorers and not people who are truly looking at how the story was conveyed. I have read the book and seen both movies. It is true that the old version is far more true to the original book, yet, the newer version is MAGNIFICENT. I believe Austen wrote a good plot, but was remarkably gossip-y and heavy worded. The new version, beyond being beautiful to watch and listen to (an artistic masterpiece), portrayed the heart of Pride and Prejudice. I find the film suburb, a treat to be savored. I do not think that two should be compared. What you are looking for will dictate which you will prefer. The older version is a mini-series, true to the original words and a theatrical piece. It is straight acting, no drama or theatrics. Colin Firth is perfect. I found the Eliza a bit two even tempered and Jane to be slightly insipid. However, in every other way it is good. The new piece is a film, packed with majestic shots and costumes. A possible critique is whether or not you like Knightly. I happen to adore her in this. She plays Eliza headstrong, intelligent, and just a little wild. There is real chemistry between her and Darcy, something which I feel the older version lacks. I love the newer version’s beautiful Jane, as well. She seems appropriately half angel, and half silly Bennett , with a dash of eldest sister thrown in. Lydia, Kitty, the Mother, Georgianna and the cousin, Colins are all played rather similarly in both versions. Judi Dench is lovely as Lady Catherine. I can understand choosing one over the other, in accordance to personal preference, however I can not see truly disliking either if you like the original story. While I the new version is not only my favorite of the two, but one of my favorite movies, I believe that both are truly excellent pieces!

  27. Maria said

    I am shocked by all these people who claim that the 2005 version was better.

    Seriously, it sucked. Big time.

    2005’s Darcy reminded me of a horse and had absolutely NO charm when compared to 1995’s Mr Darcy. It was painful to see my beloved Mr Darcy being so awfully played. The actor was ugly, and really, really bad playing his role.

    Keira Knigtley is absolutely gorgeous, but she made Lizzy look less intelligent than the 1995 P&P and she is supposed to be quite smart.

    It was also kind of a static acting, as i saw little evolution in the characters.

    Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr Bennet was a bit disappointing, as he couldn’t quite capture and impersonate the sarcasm and irony of Mr Darcy.

    I don’t know who got the idea to put Judy Dench playing Lady Catherine. As already said, her awesomeness could never fit into Lady Catherine’s narrow-minded and annoying role.

    But the WORST thing in 2005’s movie is the total disrespect and distorting of Jane Austen’s plot. She must be rolling in her grave to see her excellent novel being so rudely adapted.

    I would get if the director had to cut some scenes, because the movie would be too long. But he didn’t only do that, he was able to entirely strip the story of its original charm, satire and cleverness. Some characters were just downright boring.

    Burn that 2005 piece of rubbish and get yourself a copy of BBC’s P&P.

  28. Kara said

    Well, I don´t really understand why the most of you hate the new version. I never looked the old one, only pieces, but you cannot compare them.
    The old version is totally concerning to the book, every dialogue is the same a in book.
    But the movie from 2005 .. well, it´s a movie. If movies would be like the books, exactly, they´d fail.
    Actually, I don´t wanna say the adaption from 1995 is bad. But not so .. how should I say? A movie is telling the story in another way .. modern and with so much feelings, and easier of course because everyone have to understand it.
    I love the book but such a movie can be different AND good. Never compare a film with the book, it´s senseless. Take it as a good hollywood film and .. why are you dicussing about it? auhh ..

  29. Kashmira said

    Kara well why you pointing out at others and saying that they should not discuss about a movie when you are doing it yourself…..duh!!!!!
    Well I just watched the 2005 movie and by all means I must say that movie is abysmal..The dude playing it was dry.He utterly destroyed Mr.Darcy’s character.He should learn how to convey emotions with his eyes because thats what Mr.Darcy ought to do.Anyways the movie has definitely ruined Mr.Darcy’s character.But I still love the Mr.Darcy in the book.Hes just the perfect man every woman can only hope to get.

  30. Ven said

    Kashmira, I think that is rather odd because I think Matthew portrayed Mr. Darcy perfectly. He used his eyes to express his emotions very well, I could see it easily in the Rain scene. And how he looked at her when she was meeting Georgiana.
    I have watched most of the 1995 version but didn’t get the chance to finish it. Anyways, Collin was very loyal to Mr. Darcy’s silent personality but he didn’t express Darcy’s insecurity as well as Matthew did.
    Tallulah, I laughed many times in the 2005 version.
    Mrs Bennett is supposed to be FUNNY. She was a little silly and very motherly. -Isn’t silly funny? And isn’t she suppose to be motherly going around finding a husband for her daughters?
    Mr Collins is supposed to be FUNNY. He was really sad and lonely – I was sympathetic! Not good! -He was also very funny and I was sympathetic in the book, I do recall.
    Lady Catherine is supposed to be FUNNY. She was – gah, how can you put the awesomeness of Dame Judy Dench in that role?! -At sometimes she was funny. For example when she and Elizabeth first met. And are you saying that Lady Catherine is not awesome in her own ways?
    Mary is supposed to be FUNNY. She was just blah. -I did not find her funny in the book. I more respected her.
    Mr Bennett is supposed to be FUNNY. Donald was great, and he did a few of the good lines, but did not carry out the sarcasm that IS Mr Bennett. -In my opinion, he did. In most of his scenes.

    Maria, I’m afraid you’re being a bit to harsh on the 2005 version. I mean, burn the piece of rubbish…?
    2005′s Darcy reminded me of a horse and had absolutely NO charm when compared to 1995′s Mr Darcy. It was painful to see my beloved Mr Darcy being so awfully played. The actor was ugly, and really, really bad playing his role. -Somehow, I am offended by that. xD I do find Matthew Macfadyen attractive and his acting was extremely enjoyable. I am not saying that Colin is a “horse” and a “awful” actor. I do respect him and I absolutely LOVE his acting but he just didn’t seem to click for Pride and Prejudice. Now, Maria, were you not a bit touched in the Rain scene. Are you saying that he didn’t have any charm there? “You have bewitched me body and soul and I love, I love-“ He pauses briefly. “I love you.” How is that not charming? To be frank, I did find Matthew more attractive than Colin to your comment about Matthew being ugly.
    Keira Knigtley is absolutely gorgeous, but she made Lizzy look less intelligent than the 1995 P&P and she is supposed to be quite smart. -Funny thing. In a video I saw, Keira said that Joe Wright had declined her offer to take the role with, “You’re too pretty.” But he took another look at her and then said, “No wait, you’re fine.” I find that hilarious. xD I bet it was a bit insulting to her. And may I ask, how did the 2005 Lizzy look less intelligent? Plus, I think that Jennifer was a bit over-weight at that time. I didn’t really like that; I had always imagined Lizzy to be a bit skinnier.

    But really, I just loved the 2005 version. I love the 1998 version because of it’s loyalty to the book and of course as it had, what, 4 hours? It certainly took that chance. But I thought it was slightly dull whereas the 2005 version was so vivid. The beautiful music, the perfect movement of the camera, and the amazing cast. Really, that music is amazing.
    Well, about Joe’s decision on the plot of P&P. See, this movie is an ADAPTION. An adaption is something that captures the, excuse the corny word, essence of the original while making it fit the big screen. Now, if P&P was more like the novel, it certainly wouldn’t fit the time limit. But I appreciate how P&P adds their own originality to the awesomenest that the novel is. Now who says that you can’t change something that is already great to make it even better? Yes, I know that they stripped a lot but really, only the boring bits where people in the theater would fall asleep in their sleep. And the loooong conversations between characters does allow you to understand them more but please, I don’t want to bear through word after word about whatever they’re talking about and they never change the tooopic. 😥 Short and sweet as they say. And finally, Awesome Original + Awesome Touches= An Awesome Movie, my very favorite. =D

    But everyone is entitled to their own opinion except I do appreciate it if people don’t BASH something. It’s not very, you know. xD But hey, I’m pleased to meet other fans of Jane Austen and I hope you all have a good day.

    • Aimee said

      I think the point is that I’m a fan of Jane Austen and that’s precisely why I prefer the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. Based on what you’ve written, you seem to be more a fan of Joe Wright and Deborah Moggach. The 2005 version had little to do with Miss Austen, as far as I can see. Pride and Prejudice is a romance, but also a comedy of manners, manners which seemed to be almost entirely lacking from the heavy-handed, trite, and melodramatic adaptation of 2005.

  31. Lu said

    The 2005 version might be ok – for mainstream use. It’s just the way Hollywood deals with good stories like that: making mainstream out of it. 2005 might be a nice film for anybody who never new anything about p&p before.
    However, having read the book, seeing the BBC version of it, it appears to me to be nothing but… commercial redraft.
    In the BBC version, this atmosphere is just more present to me than in 05. You can see how Elizabeth is intelligent, and the series offer you first a reason to dislike Mr.Darcy, what 05 fails to do. They scetch him from the beginning as having great feeling and makes it impossible to experience Lizzy’s change in feelings towards him.
    Also the reserved Mr.Darcy is created better in 1995. It would diffently had been horrible to cast Hugh Grant for this, as when you see him, you just think him a bit confused. Firth however, can play this roll without any facemovement until it needs to, crating a brilliant, slightly annoyed gentleman, what Mr. Darcy should be.

  32. Nat said

    I CANT BELIEVE U PEOPLE! First, the movie was awesome ok and yes yes it was different from the book but i liked that it was more fast paced! The 1995 one is way boring so forget all of you.

    IN Yo FACE!

  33. Maddie said

    Hey Um..I guess i like the 2005 version better. Cuz not that Colin Firth isnt a great actor (The Kings Speech!!! :)) but just i think that he and Jennifer Ehle had completely no chemistry. I mean like COME ON!! the scene where they were dancing at Meryton, wasnt it obvious that Elizabeth could hear both of Bingley and Darcy talking??? They were like what? 1 metre away from her?? And Mrs Bennet was just too loud and Jennifer Ehle was overbearing and looking weird. (She kept smiling at odd angles) The 2005’s version of Longbourne house looked more lived in and actually INHABITED!! 1995 house was a house in town when Austen specifically states that they lived in the country right? Keira and Matthew were much better as Elizabeth and Darcy. For on thing the 1995 version was a miniseries!!! For gods sake, they had like 6 hours to potray the whole thing while the 2005 version only had like 2 hours. Of course they had to modify the book slightly but that doesnt mean they changed the plot.

  34. Emily said

    As a relatively young Austen fan, I did not have the pleasure of reading the novel before watching the mini-series or the film. I did sit with my mum to watch the mini-series, even though I was too young understand what was happening but it was when the film was released that I fell in love with the world. I began to appreciate the story and the characters and the film returned me the mini-series and when I felt I had a better comprehension of the language and society (having little to no experience with the complexity of Austen’s work) I finally read the novel. While I understand that I did the whole thing in the wrong order, but think about it, if it had not been for Joe Wright’s film, I would never have read the novel and would not be the absolute fanatic that I am today. And although the film might not be the absolute perfect adaptation it is, after all just that: an adaptation. It is just a window into the novel, just as the mini-series and if they bring a modern audience to appreciate the beauty and craft of Jane Austen, then they both have done their job.

  35. beccab said

    I finally was able to watch the 1995 miniseries and enjoy it, after becoming a Colin Firth fan from The King’s Speech. In the past, I always stopped after the first 15 minutes because JANE WAS UGLY. It’s so important to the story that Jane is angelically beautiful and sweet, and the 1995 Jane was plain at best and also had a boring personality. (Every time I tried to watch it, I would run and get the 1980 version with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul.) Fortunately this time I was able to just ignore Jane. I did notice, however, that my favorite section was when Lizzy was visiting Charlotte and Jane wasn’t involved. How this version can garner such amazing reviews with this GLARING flaw is incomprehensible to me. Yes, it has great strengths, but it’s definitely not perfection!

    I love the 2005 version. Yes, there are many changes from the novel, but that was absolutely necessary in order to fit the story into a two-hour movie. I thought Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen were wonderful, and I adored Rosamund Pike as Jane. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Darcy was off the charts, and I loved the rain scene plus the morning mist scene enough to excuse the fact that they were completely different from the novel. With Dame Judi Dench, Donald Sutherland, and Brenda Blethyn, you truly have a powerhouse cast. I was a little annoyed by Mr. Bingley in this version – he was so silly that I just could not imagine Darcy choosing him as a friend, or sensible Jane falling in love with him.

  36. ashley said

    …to all of those saying that the 1995 is boring?? well i guess you know NOTHING of Jane Austen NOTHING at all it has ellgentcey and intellingetcey, grace, mannerful, BEAUTY, love, passion,, compassion, and it is dearly close to the book, now 2005 is a disgrace to Jane Austens book, it is nothing like it, its slobby, the girls have NO manners, your NOT soppose to come to the man and ask him the dance the man is soppose to come to YOU, and they do NOT travel alone so basically the 2005 version has nothing to do with any historical story line in that book they just know how to appear human

  37. doug said

    interesting how responses can differ. In my opinion the BBC version had 7 terrific, top-notch performances – Mr Darcy, Elizabeth, mr and mrs bennett, Mr Collins, Lady Catherine, Lydia and Wickham – all these played in a way that made me feel “this is just how I expected them to be from reading the book”. In the Hollywood version the ONLY performance of merit, imho, came from Judi Dench as Lady Catherine. The intention seemed to me to be to update the film, to make it relevant to a modern audience, whereas the BBC’s brought a classic alive – nice one!

  38. Ashley said

    I have to say that I like both of the versions (1995 and 2005). The 1995 one is my favorite. The acting was REALY good, everyone played their parts extremely well. I loved to music from the 2005 one though and I think Macfayden (is that it?) was a good Darcy, although no one can outshine Firth.
    I did think that some the Bennet girls were prettier in the 2005 version, but that’s just my opinion.

  39. Wendelina said

    Since bits of the 2005 are available on YouTube, I decided to check it out, since I am quite familiar with the BBC version, and considered it superior to all other versions (without actually seeing any!).
    So here are my thoughts, without any particular order:
    The 1995 version was recommended to me while living in England, and women of all ages seemed mesmerised with Colin Firth.
    Later I read the novel in the original, and I could enjoy it in a couple of foreign languages, which probably qualifies me as a fan.
    I agree with those of you who find the 1995 version superior. It is. Of course, it does divert from the original storyline here and there: I have no recollection of a soaked-through Darcy emerging from the brook – in the novel!
    Yet, the 2005 version feels wrong for so many reasons: It wants to break with the 1995 version, but the lead actress (Keira Knightley) seems to be lost: to copy or not to copy Jennifer Ehle, often she does – inadvertently. (What disturbed me greatly was that she looks like a bulldog, really – I kept watching her to find out if her lower set of teeth were really more to the front than the upper. Otherwise I cannot fathom those clenched jaws and protruding chin. But that is beside the point, it is just gruesome looks. When she is otherwise a pretty girl.)
    Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are not portrayed to have near similar social status, since: Matthew MacFadyen is dressed, positioned to stick out in a bad way and he carries himself so stiff – whereas Colin Firth was “suave”: a perfect gentleman completely at ease with himself, who of course did not have to prove to anyone who he is. There was no need to make CF stand out, a man of his situation would never blend in. Bingley should be kind and social but not a wet palmed teenager.
    When MMF enters the ballroom (probably the first scene we see him, I have not watched the “movie” in its entirety, and will certainly not take the trouble in future), he looks like a boxing champion (with a propped up neck). (He kept reminding me of Steven Seagal in one of his – probably – later films, when he was already fat and had these huge coporate suit jacket to cover it up.)
    I was shocked how unkempt the woman where and how little they knew about/showed good manners – posture especially.
    Donald Sutherland was the biggest disappointment of all. I would expect him to act out this role. He looked as if he believed he was auditioned for a western and was puzzled by the lack of horses and guns. It could have been the need to fake an accent which he could not quite manage. (He looked more of the father guarding his family in a dusty town in the Wild West – where the barber was shot just the day before. Little frail and verging on insane.) Certainly, he is not the father who takes the trouble of paying a visit to an eligible gentleman as a way of paying dues for not having a fortune to inherit to his daughters, and taking any pain that he still considers bearable when he would prefer to be left to his reading. Above all, a gentleman, who cannot be moved if he does not wish to be.
    Worst of all: Lizzy should be/appear superior to all her sisters (of course, Miss Bennet is the beauty, Mary might be learned – but still lacks spirit and talent, Lydia is more social – but have no sophistication as dictated by the age). The girl in the 2005 version could not be the favourite of a withdrawn, intellectual father any more than her other sisters, let alone be a confidant to him.
    When she debates the issue of permitting Lydia to go to Bath, somehow, it is so false: she is no better. (It partly comes from the fact that Mr. Wickham is not persuasive enough, and actually puts Lizzy in a bad light: as if she falls as easily for the militiamen as others. The part played by this actor is yet another juvenile and not the foul trickster as it should be.)
    KK’s acting does not prove that Lizzie is so firm of character and superior at that (in many departments: beauty, smartness, etc.) that Mr. Darcy would be drawn to her beyond reason and social status. I was so annoyed by her person that I started to research how this film was received – and it led me to this site. But I would be most annoyed if I bought a ticket to the cinema or bought the DVD to find this… So little harm is actually done. Still, it is good not to stand alone with my opinion. It played in the background while I was reading the comments – it really sounds like fast forward at 1.1 speed or so. (I truly think they sped it up a little.)
    Probably, it is her age that makes it unbelievable. It is not in her favour. Modern times (as a far guess: 1960s onwards) allow each generation to remain juvenile longer. A couple of centuries ago, a 24-year-old person was most likely to be on a par with a 34-year-old person of today – in responsibilities, way of live.
    Still, some words in favour of the 2005 version: gentleman and gentry (the varied society) is nicely pictured at the ball (held at Bingley’s).
    I am happy to watch Judy Dench any time, any role. But that is just me. (Maybe others, too. )She gave more the lady than the hag (as played by the actress in the 1995 version, I can’t be bothered to look up the name).
    Overall, some supporting characters seem to be better selected – except those who were accentuated in the BBC version (their cousin – 1995: the sycophant vs. 2005: the weasel, etc.). Luckily, there was less fake hair and sideburns (since it breaks with all customs anyway, why keep this last one?).
    To sum up: I can easily image how it could appeal to a younger and less patient generation, who might hopefully grow older and develop a taste for quality literature. If not, at least they will have a general idea that Jane Austen existed and there was a novel (a movie anyway) called Pride and Prejudice. (Sadly, it serves less good than – for instance – picturing Jane Austen as portrayed in Old Harry’s Game…)
    It is a romantic comedy as stated before. Based on a great novel. Actress nominated for awards. Do we all sense some ugly profit-oriented attitude here? Crowds would be drawn to the cinemas? Were they?! Were most of them demanding back the money they paid for the ticket???

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