In early nineteenth century rural England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (Sutherland and Blethyn) have five daughters. Mrs. Bennet obsesses over arranging good marriages for them, given their humble circumstances. Enter the wealthy, handsome Mr. Bingle (Woods), who has eyes for Jane (Pike), the eldest and most beautiful sister. Next in line is the plucky, outspoken Lizzie (Knightley), who takes an instant dislike to Bingle’s friend, the arrogant Mr. Darcy (Macfadyen). Yet as events unfold, Lizzie and Darcy are repeatedly drawn together. Could their initial antipathy turn into something different?
Based on Jane Austen’s second, most famous novel, this “Pride” sumptuously updates the 1940 Hollywood classic. The whole ensemble cast delivers, particularly the Oscar-nominated Knightley and a brooding Macfadyen as her frustrated suitor. Sutherland also lends warmth and wisdom as the patriarch with a particular fondness for the tempestuous Lizzie. Recreation of the period is vivid and meticulous; little wonder the film was also nominated for art direction and costume design. If you’re itching for some old-fashioned, high-toned romance, here’s your movie.