Saturday, December 9

girls trip?

As the months pass, I somehow manage to like Joe Wright's 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" more and more ... and, embarrassingly, more.

I was never a big fan of the book, although I had read it several times, mostly because it was assigned--which is probably why I didn't fall head over heels for it. This movie, however, reignited some little romantic girlie spark left in my heart, and now, well-kindled, the flame burns brightly. (Thank you, Mr. Wright.)

I can't give all the credit to the suspenseful, lovey-dovey plot; the handsomely brooding (or broodingly handsome?) Mr. Darcy; or my inner, newfound girlishness. Rather, I think there were just too many things done right with this movie:

First, the film is perfectly cast--from Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth (which really surprised me), and from Mr. Bingley and his snobby sister to Charlotte and Mr. Collins.

Secondly, Jean-Yves Thibaudet's score is pretty amazing. In fact, that, in part, is why a YouTube clip of the film is in the "for a listen" link. And also because I've been on a total P&P kick lately as Curtis works more and more graveyard shifts. Plus, I already had something for my "for a look" link.

I love the flood of music that supplements Elizabeth's desperate dash across the bridge. It really drives her anger home, her "flood of emotions," if you will. But there's more to the sound of the movie than music. I'm a total sucker for that part where Mr. Darcy first walks in the dance hall and an excited, little laugh escapes Elizabeth's mouth after the pair exchange glances. And the part at the end, when she finally sees him walking dreamily through the mist toward her, and she gasps. It's totally believable, and somehow has the ability to make your heart sing.

Though no memorable sound accompanies the image, it's worth mentioning that I also love the part where Darcy takes Elizabeth's hand to help her into the carriage and then, as he walks away, the camera zooms in as he stretches his fingers, almost as though to fight the impulse to clench them--and you're left wondering whether he wants to savor their touching of hands or if he is confused by some emotion associated with it.

And last, but certainly not least, I adore the landscape--as well as Focus Features' uncanny skills in capturing it--which is the real reason I linked to the YouTube clip. When I spent a summer abroad in London, we took a bus to Bath for a day and visited some house where Austen supposedly once lived. My journal entry is littered with Austen quotes, mostly excerpts from letters she wrote to her sister--excerpts which I found endearing. But my favorite part of the day was the drive; I was amazed by the miles and miles of green patchwork that sat beyond the rain-covered glass. To this day, I remain convinced that I was supposed to be born in England at least 150 years ago. A trip to the Cotswalds in 2003 reaffirmed that conviction.

I am obsessed with the rotunda used in the scene. I scoured the net high and low to find out where in the English countryside the blessed structure lies. And while I was searching, I found this little gem. And I thought to myself, now that would be the ultimate girls trip: not tracing the tails of celebs or following misguiding maps to their million-dollar homes (though I'm not above that), but tracking down "on location" spots.

Imagine it! We could sit in that rotunda (actually Apollo's Temple in Stourhead) and write in our journals all day and enjoy the splendor of the lake and gardens. And maybe it would be rainy but we wouldn't care because we like getting our hems six inches deep in mud.

Here's to "all the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, and the Peak," and to celebrating utter girlishness done correctly. I will be popping in the dvd as soon as I finish this post, which I never thought would get this long. But when it comes to P&P, there's a lot to be said.

If you're still interested, here's a breakdown of the clip:

{1:07} Darcy looks up.
{1:08} Music enters, Elizabeth sprints across bridge.
{1:54} Rather than stammer, Darcy blurts out, "I love you."
{4:47} In a heated argument, the pair almost kiss in a fit of ... passion?
{5:16-5:33} Beautiful image of the temple. I would live in this still if I could.
{5:34-end} I would end the clip here (it's long) but if you keep watching you'll witness a dark, pensive montage of a now-brooding Elizabeth.


jamieanne said...

I too, can't say enough about P&P. I am certain I have seen it over 50 times. I love everything about it...the characters, the scenery, the cinematography, the score.
I'll go on a girls trip with you anythime!

Kim said...

It never gets old. Everytime I see it I have the same butterflies and excitement. I wish we really could just take off on a girls trip there. It's so beautiful.

Lorilee said...

A girls trip would be fun... but let's start with a girls night where we can all watch it together (again).

laceyJ. said...

I'm in! I could never get enough of P&P... too bad my husband refuses to watch it. The line that did it in for him- when Darcy says: 'You've bewitched me body and soul...' And yet, for me, that's one of my favorites!

ali said...

All that's needed to get us all over there is a small fundraiser. Lori, you interested in heading up a bake sale?

Lori said...

i absolutely love this movie, and found your blog looking for the perfect picture for the temple of apollo. i ring the movie with me when i travel, just so i can watch it whenever i want. =) i love the scene in the temple of apollo!! it's just perfect.