Squawk Radio

Monday, November 21, 2005


It's so rare to find a satisfying romance at the movies that I nearly dissolved into raptures of delight to discover not one but two of them this weekend! On Friday I had the distinct pleasure of going to see the new theatrical version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE with Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen. To be honest, I was prepared to be disappointed. I had seen the rather murky looking trailer that made even the gorgeous Keira Knightly look washed-out and blotchy. Plus as we all know, every version of P & P must now be compared to that platinum standard of the 1995 BBC mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

But I found the new movie to be thoroughly delightful and exhilarating! At just a little over 2 hours long, it couldn't cover quite as much ground as the mini-series (Wickham and the two younger sisters had very minor roles), but it beautifully captured the romance and robust good humor of Austen's story. I was caught off guard by several laugh-out-loud moments. Keira Knightly embodied Elizabeth Bennet's intelligence and wit. (Her portrayal also reminded me a little of Jo March in LITTLE WOMEN.) One glimpse of her smile and you knew why Darcy's heart was captivated. MacFadyen as Mr. Darcy won me over in the moment when I realized his voice had the exact same timbre as Alan Rickman's. The murkier cinematography actually ended up making the movie seem more vital and historically accurate. The gritty images of daily life are contrasted with breathtaking shots of the English countryside, including one of Mr. Darcy striding out of the mist that almost rivals Colin Firth's rising up out of Pemberly's pond on the female gasp of appreciation scale. (Yes, this is an actual scientific device. I have one in my office.)

Next up is the rather luscious and dangerous Joaquin Phoenix channeling Johnny Cash in WALK THE LINE. At the literal heart of the movie is Cash's longstanding and long-unrequited love for June Carter (the ever ebullient Reese Witherspoon finally being allowed to put her Nashville accent to good use) and the trials and travails he must suffer before finally settling down with the love of his life. From the foot-stomping power of the very first scene, music is the thread that binds these two restless hearts and what makes the movie even more remarkable is that Phoenix and Witherspoon did all of their own singing!

If you're looking for a taste of romance this Thanksgiving, I wholeheartedly recommend these 2 movies! Next up for me is the new HARRY POTTER! If you've seen PRIDE AND PREJUDICE or WALK THE LINE, I'd love to know what YOU think. And I'd love to know what other movies you're excited about seeing this Thanksgiving and Christmas season (NARNIA and KING KONG anyone?)
Teresa Medeiros, 8:16 AM