25 Days of Pride & Prejudice, Day 11: I Have Some Questions

With sincerest apologies to Pete Wells of the New York Times.


Dear Joe Wright, have you ever actually read Pride & Prejudice? Are you acquainted with the works of Jane Austen? Would you like me to send her some of her books? Don’t hesitate to ask, ok?

Would I be terribly off-mark if I assumed you haven’t? Shall I ask an easier question? Have you ever actually observed women outside of Hollywood? You do realize they’re not all giggling schoolgirls or jaded bitches, right? Why did you decide to make every woman in this movie one or the other? Even Lizzy? Why did you do that to Lizzy? Why??

Was it so hard to find a historical consultant? Didn’t you film this movie in England? Isn’t England swarming with people who… I don’t know… know stuff about England? Why do the dresses look like Hot Topic collaborated with my great-great grandmother’s wardrobe? Was that a choice or a mistake?

Let’s move on from that travesty for now, shall we? Can I address something I think we all have questions about? Why such a focus on the pig’s ballz? Why does Mrs. Bennet make that face? Is she longing for oversized balls? Is this supposed to imply Mr. Bennet has similarly-sized balls or smaller balls? Can I not ever think about these things again, please? Do you realize what you’ve done to a generation of Austen fans with that scene?

Do you think about that scene at night sometimes and ask yourself why?

I really hate to harp on this Joe, but can you answer some questions about the hair choices? Was the hairdresser on set constantly drunk? Did she just hate Keira Knightley? Why does Keira have bangs on the back of her neck? Did you really think you could pass this off as a style choice? Did Keira say nothing?

Why so many close ups of people’s hands? Are your hands commonly cold? Do you sometimes tell people this in place of affirmative answers? Have you forgotten that makes no sense?

Do birds constantly chirp at you? Is this why the background noise throughout is a cacophony of birds? Did you simply not hear them in the editing process because you’re used to it? Is Lizzy supposed to be a Disney princess with birds just following her around everywhere? Did birds make her dresses for her? Is that the “look” you were going for: Georgian Cinderella? Do you think you succeeded?

Can we talk about Bingley? Is he supposed to have… issues? Is that why he’s so easily amused? Is that why he laughs like that at stupid shit? Is that why he pops up like a jack in the box in random scenes with a dorky smile on his face? Does Jane understand this about him? Is she perhaps not all there either, and that’s why she’s considered so “sweet”? Does anyone else worry about those two?

Speaking of worrying about a couple, why did you have Wickham literally abuse Lydia in their coach? Was that supposed to imply that he was a bad man? Did you think we didn’t already know that from his marrying a 15-year-old? Was having him hurt her on-screen necessary?

Why does time seem to stop at several points? Why is there a boat in the courtyard at one point, when Longbourn is in Hertfordshire? Who are the man and woman in the house with the Bennets when Lady Catherine makes her visit? Why do so many things about this movie not make sense?

Why are so many shots in that awful teal/orange lighting combo? Why is the color scheme entirely browns, beiges, blues and grays? Do you realize they had color in the 19th century?

And why, for the love of god, is everyone in their undergarments all the time? Whose idea was it to have Caroline Bingley show up to the ball in a spaghetti strap dress? Who decided to have Lizzy and Darcy meet in a field? (What was that day like on set? Did people tell you what a bad idea it was and you ignored them or did they just stay quiet and collect a paycheck?) Do you hear “Great idea!” a lot? Do you still believe it?

Joe, would you ever consider never making another Austen adaption? Ever? Please?

Thanks.


Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
And now that it’s over, here’s all the rest:
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20
Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25

-Admin R

19 thoughts on “25 Days of Pride & Prejudice, Day 11: I Have Some Questions

  1. The man and woman in the house are the head man and the housekeeper, but I assume other scenes with them in were cut.. Hill!!!! She has more of a roll in the older series.

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  2. I know you already made a post about music, but have you noticed the use of music to frame scenes? I took a class in college about movie music so this is going to sound extra pretentious, but there are scenes where the music shifts from non-diaegetic to “diegetic”, meaning that the characters can hear the music. For example, the opening song “Dawn” that starts playing while Lizzy is walking in the field reading, turns into the song that is being played on the piano about a minute later when the camera moves into the house. Watching along with this blog has been fantastic.

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  3. I love your posts, this one is particularly good, although I don’t mind the birds chirping in the background. The hairdresser was drunk every day : HA YES ! That’s the only possible explanation.

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  4. Horse-snorted my way through every line of this post! Sooo true. And don’t forget that moment when the music swells and the camera pans up to Elizabeth on a mountaintop with the wind romantically {?} whipping up her hair and skirt—my friend and I simultaneously and without premeditation called out “Heathcliff!” across the theater. Oops, wrong nineteenth-century classic beloved of those clucking hens.

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  5. The hand thing Joe actually comments on in the director commentary. I can’t remember the exact details but it has to do with the whole taking your hand in marriage thing. He spends a lot of time explaining his choices for things.

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