Sunday, March 18, 2012

Contrasting Pride and Prejudice Characters

When I started writing up my review for the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, I began to realize that I was going to need an entire post in which to contrast the various characters -- the 1995 and 2005 versions of a bunch of the most important people. So that's what this is! Each begins with the 1995, then the 2005, then tells which I ended up prefering. Also, check out my reviews of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice and the one episode of the 1980 Pride and Prejudice that I watched.

Anne de Bourgh

The part of Anne de Bourgh is a very minor part, no matter how long the movie. This one certainly fulfilled the requirement (?) of looking...dour.

This Anne seemed a little more like she might have been your friend...if you could just get through to her. She seemed more salvageable, so to speak, like her mother hadn't entirely stifled her yet. Shocking!

Preference: the 2005 Anne de Bourgh.

Georgiana Darcy

The 1995 version was a very sweet and meek little Georgiana. She seemed quite likable, but very shy. She also seemed about her age, possibly slightly older -- about 16.

I'm afraid that this Georgiana was too young. She looks about 13, or maybe 15, don't you think? Definitely not 16 or any older. She was too...outgoing for Georgiana. Too bold in her excitement at meeting Elizabeth for the first time.

Preference: the 1995 Georgiana Darcy.

Aunt Gardiner

This Aunt Gardiner is very friendly. You can tell why Lizzy likes her so much!

I didn't like this one nearly as much. She seemed too old (off the top of my head) and some of my problem may be that we really didn't get to know her...not in a short two hour movie.

Preference: the 1995 Aunt Gardiner.

Uncle Gardiner

He's jolly and likable in the 1995 version. He seems like a really fun guy to get to know!

You really don't get to know him at all. So I can't logically pass much of an opinion on him!

Preference: the 1995 Uncle Gardiner.

Colonel Fitzwilliam

I liked this Colonel Fitzwilliam. And I always wonder if he found a nice wife. You would think he might have connected SOMETHING when Lizzy got all fainty after he mentioned Darcy breaking up Bingley and Jane...

Again, you really don't get to know him...but he's almost laughable, I think.

Preference: the 1995 Colonel Fitzwilliam.

Charlotte Lucas

This Charlotte Lucas is a sweet girl, and I like her. You can tell why Lizzy loves her. She seems to be as happy as a girl could be with Mr. Collins.

This Charlotte you could understand a bit more why she married Mr. Collins. The whole scene around the above picture is very interesting...though  not so much in the book.

Preference: it's a tie.

Caroline Bingley

This woman IS Caroline Bingley. She's perfect for the part in every way. Not too pretty, something of a snob, and her outfits are really amazing.

This Caroline...well, you don't get to know her nearly as well. But I think she's too pretty...and she can't deliver her lines with the same oomph as the other one.

Preference: the 1995 Caroline Bingley.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Another actor who WAS their person. This was an amazing Lady Catherine! She's snobby, prying, and totally like I picture Lady Catherine.

I don't like this one as much. She's passable, but not as snobby as the other, and Lady Catherine must be snobby.

Preference: the 1995 Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Mary Bennet

Wonderful Mary. She is very bookish, looks very bookish, and plays piano only tolerably.

This Mary is one who I think I might be able to become friends with, looking at the picture. But her piano playing...ugh. I still don't know why Mr. Collins didn't marry her...

Kitty (Catherine) Bennet

This girl was a pretty good Kitty. Especially when crying over Lydia going to Brighton.

Also a good Kitty. Mostly fit the idea of who Kitty is!

Preference: it's a tie.

Mr. Bennet

The 1995 Mr. Bennet was wonderful. He was witty, he was funny, and he was over-plowed in some ways by his wife. He was also understanding to Lizzy. I liked that you could tell why Lizzy liked him! (I feel like I'm saying that a lot)

I didn't really like this man as Mr. Bennet. You didn't see any special relationship really between him and Elizabeth, and he wasn't nearly as likeable to me as the other.

Preference: the 1995 Mr. Bennet.

Mrs. Bennet

Amazing Mrs. Bennet. She was flighty, flitty, loud-spoken, full of nerves.

This one was more likeable, but Mrs. Bennet isn't supposed to be likable. She was okay for the part, and did wonderful in some places.

Preference: the 1995 Mrs. Bennet.

Mr. Collins

He's a little rotund, and a little oily, and full of sermons, and morals, and things that Mary Bennet likes. And his proposal to Elizabeth, and his relationship with Charlotte are both semi-hilarious. He makes me laugh out loud sometimes.

His proposal to Lizzy was much to condensed. And he didn't do enough don't get to see enough of his relationship with Lady Catherine.

Preference: the 1995 Mr. Collins.

Mr. Wickham

This guy is totally Mr. Wickham to me. He's jaunty and a little presuming, but just handsome enough that you can see why Lizzy likes him at first. At the same time, you can imagine him doing the things Mr. Darcy says he's done!

His hair's too long. I have problems with the 2005 hair on this guy, and the next two. I don't think he's at all handsome (gonna say that about the next two guys as well...) and I really don't understand why all the Bennet girls love him...must be his manners. :)

Preference: the 1995 Mr. Wickham.

Lydia Bennet

She's flirty and flippant and fly-away -- everything Lydia Bennet should be. Probably a little old for the part though...Lydia was supposedly only 15 or 16.

Another flirty, flippant, fly-away Lydia. This one's about the right age, though.

Preference: it's a tie.

Mr. Bingley

He's not particularly handsome, but I'd say he's a pretty good Mr. Bingley. His sweet personality really comes through, and it's no wonder Jane falls for him!

Another Mr. Bingley who's not too handsome. The red hair is awful -- it bounces when he dances, very bad. However, he's so nice and sweet and kind that you can ignore and still like him.

Preference: the 1995 Mr. Bingley. Barely.

Jane Bennet

She may not be quite as pretty as the 2005 Jane, but she's just as sweet. I think she's a beautiful girl, and I love how close she is to Lizzy!

This Jane is so sweet that I don't know how anyone couldn't like her! I really love her.

Preference: the 2005 one. Barely.

Mr. Darcy

This guy is Mr. Darcy in ways no other guy ever could be. He's proud, he's terribly handsome, and he's really great by the end.

That guy is not Mr. Darcy. His hair's too long and messy. He's too not-handsome. And he seems shy as opposed to stuck-up. All fundamental problems.

Preference: the 1995 Mr. Darcy. Totally.

Elizabeth Bennet

I love this Elizabeth. She's sweet, she's beautiful, she overcomes her prejudice in an understandable way, and she looks great with Mr. Darcy.

I don't love this Elizabeth so much. Through all of the 2005 movie, it seemed to me that she would make a much better Jo March than Elizabeth Bennet. I still think she's beautiful, though.

Preference: the 1995 Elizabeth Bennet.

Overall movie preference: the 1995 movie, though the 2005 has its good points.

Questions for you: Did you enjoy this? Which characters do you agree or disagree with me about? Should I consider doing posts like this for other Jane Austen based movies?


Abby said...

Not enough bowing from Mr Collins! Aha, that comment made me laugh :) But I couldn't agree more - the 2005 Collins was certainly irritating, but not quite as wonderfully obsequious as in the 1995 version! The older version remains my favourite, although I do quite like the newer version as well: although I don't think any of the characters are better, some are nearly as good.


Miss Dashwood said...

Ooh, I liked this post a LOT!
"When Lizzy got all fainty" made me laugh quite a bit. It was funny. :)
I DEFINITELY agree with your analysis of the two Mr. Bennets. To a T.
And yes, Mrs. Bennet is not supposed to be likable! 1995 all the way. :)
I do have to disagree about the 2005 Mr. Bingley... he was portrayed as too much of an idiot, IMHO. I like 1995's Bingley much better. He seems a lot nicer and more sensible.
Everything you said about Mr. Darcy is spot-on. Except for the not-handsome bit, heehee. But his hair---ugh.
Keira Knightley probably would make a good Jo March! Never thought of that before... hmmm.
I would love to see more posts like this!

Jemimah C. said...

Great post! Very enjoyable indeed. I love both Pride and Prejudice 1995 and 2005. I often battle with myself on which I prefer better. While the 1995 version was closer to the story, the dramatization of 2005 was a lot better (in terms of cinematography, filming, music, etc.). But when we come to the casting part, I must say, I am thoroughly divided. But one thing I can say: Colin Firth will always, always be the Mr. Darcy to me. He owns the role. The end.

Now that mentioned it, why yes! Keira Knightley would make a good Jo March. And just to let you know, these kinds of posts are great. I hope you do the same for the other Jane Austen films, too!

Kathryn said...

Thank you Charity for this great post. Yes, you should do more!! I agree with basically everything you said. Of course, the 1995 version is thee-best! And, as Jemimiah C. said, Colin Firth, "owns the role of Mr. Darcy" for time and eternity. Since you mentioned it, I do think Keira would be a good Jo March. Never thought of that.

Julie said...

Charity, loved this post! But seriously you cannot compare Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy with David Rintoul's Mr. Darcy. Now there is a PERFECT Mr. Darcy! ha! I do love the BBC version of P&P with Colin Firth, but my favorite version is the one with David Rintoul and Elizabeth Garvie as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Oh, who am I kidding? I love every version of P&P that I have ever seen! LOL! And yes, now that you mention it I think that Keira Knightly would make a great Jo March! ha!

larkin said...

I think this post is my favorite of yours. :D I agreed with almost every comparison, and especially with Mr. Darcy. Matthew Macfadyen just can't compare to Colin Firth.

Payton Wilson said...

I love both versions, but overall I favor the 2005 version. It's just a beautiful film, and I am quite the Matthew MacFadyen fanatic. =) I love him as Darcy!!

Analiese said...

This post was so fun to look through! I agree with you, except that I like the 1995 Jane better than the 2005 one. I would love to read more of these done with other Jane Austen books/movies! :)

Charity U said...

Awww, y'all made my day by enjoying this post. It was the funnest (make that the most fun) I've written in a long time!

Abby, I love making people laugh. :) The 1995 Mr. Collins is pretty amazing! Agree that some of the characters are nearly as good.

Miss Dashwood, I think some of the problem with the 05 Mr. Bingley is that you don't actually see THAT much of him. But he does come across as weaker, and I do probably actually prefer the 1995 one a little bit. :)

Jemimah, yes, I suppose you're right about cinematography and all. Totally and utterly agree about Colin Firth being Mr. Darcy! We have a version of "Little Women"...from 1994, I think. Anyway, that K Knightley is quite similar to the Jo in the movie! Everything about her fit Jo (IMHO) better than Lizzy.

Kathryn, I love finding all these people who love the '95 version! :)

Julie, so glad you loved it. :) Actually, I haven't watched the David Rintoul P&P... *blushes*. Or wait a moment...I watched just the fifth episode of that one. I admit, I didn't like it much...but it was mostly the filming things that bothered me. I don't really remember as much what I thought of the'd be interesting to watch it all and compare them here too!

Larkin, so glad you enjoyed it. :) Colin Firth as Darcy rocks! ;)

Payton, thanks for coming by! There are definitely some things that I really like about the 2005 version. However, I think I'd have to say that Macfadyen as Darcy is my biggest problem! He acted Darcy as being shy -- I don't think he was. He was mostly proud. But, there's a lot of people on both sides of the argument, so. :)

Analiese, hopefully I'll be doing more of these! Seems like a lot of people were positive about it. :)

Scullery Maid said...

I disagree about Mr. Darcy. Matthew McFadyen is much more handsome. Perhaps it helps to see him as Arthur Clennam. But I must agree about Wickham's hair being too long. For me, It's a tie for Mr. Collins. Not only does the 05 one not bow enough, he doesn't say "My patroness Lady Catherine De Bourge" enough. However, he is shorter.

Angela said...

I loved this post! It was very interesting. I've only seen the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, but will watch the 1995 one soon. I definately agree, though, that the 2005 Elizabeth seems more like a Jo March :D. You should definately do more of these!!

The Mad Elvish Poet said...

I must say that I do not agree with many of your ideas, lol. I liked the 2005 version much better. The BBC people just don't really seem to know how to pick good women, and Mr. Darcy was not as good in that one. Of course, I'm prejudiced, as I *love* Mathew Macfayden.
Anyways, love the post, even if I don't agree with it!

Charity U said...

Scullery Maid, different people, different opinions I guess! I did like Macfadyen as Arthur Clennam -- he did (IMHO) much better there. Mr. Collins doesn't have time to say the whole "my patroness" thing in the newer one, I guess!

Angela, glad you enjoyed it. :) Do stop by and let me know what you think once you've seen the '95 one! I greatly prefer it. :) And I'm working on more!

Mad Elvish Poet, glad you liked the post despite disagreeing. See, we disagree...I thought all the women perfect for the BBC one, and Mr. Darcy extra perfect. But each to their own. :) Thanks for commenting!

Pallavi said...

Really thorough post there! I think, the 2005 movie characters don't appeal to us much because there was less screen time for them, as compared to the 1995 mini series. As for Mr. Darcy, I find Mathew Macfadyen (2005 Darcy) terribly handsome and sensitive. Apart from that, you have really drawn a very good comparison.

Danielle B. said...

I agree with all of your deductions whole-heartedly! I was shown the 1995 Pride and Prejudice first, so I've always preferred that version. However, I've often heard it said that the Jane Bennet in 1995 wasn't quite as pretty as Jane in the newer version, but I'm not sure what I think--I'd have to prefer dearest Miss Harker! :)

Hamlette said...

I've been working on my own version of this post, as it so happens! For now, I'll just say that the idea of Keira Knightley as Jo March makes me grin -- I'd love to see that!

LitLover said...

I appreciate the insight :) But I just don't see how Bingley and Darcy 2005 aren't handsome!

Charity U said...

LitLover, LOL! Always interesting what different opinions people have. :)

Btw, Hamlette...looking forward to seeing your post! :)

Miss Evelyn said...

I know Im late in commenting, but hey, I'm sure you don't mind!

I do agree, our opinions are very similar! I liked Keria Kightley for her lightness of looks. I can imagine her 'tripping down the path' a little bit better than Jennifer Ehle. However, I love the '95 version better with wits and everything else! As for the new Mrs. Bennett, I actually felt sorry for her! *gasp* what! Never. That does not fit the book character. You already know my opinion in Darcy. =) And I think I liked Jane better in the new one because she seemed to fit the book character better. All I of the bennets have their faults, and Lizzie seems it be the only normal one in the family. So I think that the ignorance ( is that the right word? ) of the '05 Jane fits better with the book. =) oh and like the new Kitty much much better, don't know about Lydia though?

Enjoyed your comparison very much!

Charity U said...

Miss Evelyn, so glad you stopped by! :) I most certainly do not mind. Delightful comment! I did quite enjoy it. :)

Anonymous said...

I can't even get through the 2005 version it's so bad. All the women look the same, especially with their 2005 hair and make up. The acting, when compared to the 1995 version, is boring. The actors in the 1995 version are such excellent actors and the costumes, manners etc are much more faithful to the time - are are so integral to the plot. i even find the filming and scenes in the 2005 one so boring. But it's genius in the 1995. That's just how I see it.

Brittany Britta said...

I have watched one by BBc, none of the characters that you have here, but I think I like the BBC characters better. I don't remember what year it was, but it was done in 5 parts. I loved it!!!!!

Naomi said...

I know I'm absurdly late in commenting.. but here goes!
My opinion is pretty much yours, only that I like EVERY person better in the 1995 version. Every single one!!! Maybe one Charlotte Lucas I shall consider a tie.
Sorry 2005 lovers- but I don't understand who couldn't prefer the 1995 version. I mean, to me that's the best movie ever made. Sorry- I'm overexciting myself :)
You're right about Mr Darcy. Colin Firth is far better looking than Matthew McFayden! And Keira Knightley ISN'T Elizabeth! She's more like Lydia and Kitty. Jennifer Ehle was... SIGH... perfection. Oh- EVERYTHING (again, sorry 2005 lovers) was better in the 1995 version.
And yes- as you may well have guessed by now- I'm a Pride and Prejudice 1995 fan. An ardent fan.
I loved this post!
Thank you so much!

Lucy Riess said...

Hi! I just completed the Pride and Prejudice Comparisons #1! Thought you might want to see! Love Your blog, btw!

jessica prescott said...

I really enjoyed this comparison of the two movies. I just watched them both for the first time (and can't imagine why I never made time before! I loved seeing them both SO MUCH!!)
Seriously, I thought both movies had a lot of good points. The 1995 Mr. Darcy and Mrs. Bennett were both SUBLIME. I don't think any other actors will ever top them. I have to admit, though, that I think Keira Knightley from the 2005 movie was a much better Elizabeth Bennett. She really captured Lizzy's brilliant mind, sharp tongue, and hot temper. I loved Jennifer Ehle's character, but I thought she was too calm, too demure, too prudent . . . too nice. Lizzy isn't supposed to be a nice character! Sure, she OUGHT to be "nice" in an objective sense, but the fact remains that she isn't, at least at the beginning of the novel. She has a lot of growing to do. Look at the way she talks to Jane: "I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person." No, Lizzy. No, no, NO. That's no way to treat your sister.