Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s novel of Regency courtship has been filmed so well so often (and so recently) that it hardly needed doing again, but director Joe Wright and writer Deborah Moggach give it a shot anyway. It’s diverting enough, though probably not for Austen purists. They’ll surely cringe at the way Moggach’s script is cross-pollinated with Tom Jones and Wuthering Heights, and they may take exception to Keira Knightley, with her alarmingly toothy smile, turning Elizabeth Bennet into Jo March from Little Women (Matthew MacFadyen’s mopey take on Darcy won’t win many fans either). For others, the good cast and surviving shards of Austen’s wit carry the day. Dame Judi Dench completes her transition into the Edna May Oliver of the 21st century by taking the role the old girl played in 1940.