I agree with accessteacher. The Knightly version is more of a romance. The wit and wisdom that Austen crafted so well is lost in this version, and I wonder if Austen would have approved of this emphasis. However, she is an actress that teens relate to, so maybe the movie will entice them to read the book and therein they will discover the wit.
I think the BBC version with Colin Firth is wonderful. It is very true to the novel in regards to language and characterization which helps some students connect with the text. I think the casting is great -- Firth plays the stuffy English aristocrat, but we see him become the romantic lead as the movie progresses. It is evidenced in his actions, costumes, and delivery of the lines. The movie also keeps the characterizations of each of the daughters distinct -- Jane is taller and prettier for example.
While I can praise aspects of the Kiera Knightly as well, the BBC is always my go-to guilty pleasure.
Well, as a teacher I have used the Keira Knightley version to teach this novel as well as excerpts from the full length version. I personally like both of them, but for different reasons. I think the BBC version captures excellently the wit and irony of Austen and doesn't make it into a smooch film - just a brainless romantic comedy. The Keira Knightly version is much more about the romance between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy and downplays the subtlety of the wit and irony, but it is a BEAUTIFUL production, and there are scenes which are so great, especially when Lizzie first goes to Pemberley and is blown away by the beauty of the paintings and sculptures. This version also presents a much more realistic image of women at the time - I remember Charlotte Lucas berating Lizzie for her inability to accept her engagement with Mr. Collins, saying "Don't judge me Lizzie!" This helps us as an audience to see the plight of women at this time - Charlotte desperately wanted the status and independence that was given to married women. Staying single and being a spinster and a dependent would have been a death sentence.
I have to disagree completely about the Kiera Knightley version. I LOVE it. It is a wonderful version! My students absolutely loved it when I showed it in class this semester. I adore Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy, as well. I prefer his Darcy over Colin Firth's.
I hate the newest one with Keira Knightley. However, if young people become interested in reading more, then the movie's ok. I love the miniseries that A&E ran a few years ago.
yeah the newer one isn't as good as it could have been.