Which Darcy do you prefer? Matthew MacFadyen from the 2005's Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley or Colin Firth in the 1995 BBC/A&E production?
I'm a MacFadyen-ite myself.
Fifteen years ago Firth's Darcy made me swoon. But when I watch it now (and I do watch it at least once a year) I think his Darcy needs a good stiff dose of prozac to cure his pathological moodiness. Whereas MacFadyen's Darcy is a shy and awkward hero, who hides his vulnerability behind prideful behaviour.
The scene where MacFadyen's Darcy awkwardly and rudely declares his love for Elizabeth when they are caught in the rainstorm by the folly (or is it a gazebo?) is a thing of beauty. And by thing of beauty, I mean porn for thinking women.
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Now I'm going to dispense some advice:
I advise you to watch Fortunes of War. It's a 1987 miniseries starring Emma Thompson. Please do NOT confuse it with the same-named Martin Sheen movie from 1994. Uh. That one looks horrible.
I saw five and half (out of 7) episodes of Fortunes of War in the early 90s, and spent the better part of 20 years hoping to see it rebroadcast or re-issued. While I waited, I read and re-read the source material (Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy). I enjoy Manning's crisp, unsentimental writing style. In general I love movies and books set during WWII, and these books are a rare treat because the narrative focuses upon a female character. Harriet Pringle is a flawed but noble heroine, whom you can't help but love.
Last month I finally bought a copy (via zip.ca). With some trepidation, this weekend I sat down to watch it end to end. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but it was wonderful. Emma Thompson is sublime. For the duration I forgot that I hate Kenneth Branagh. The sets and the dialogue are gorgeous. It's definitely aged well. As has Emma Thompson, for that matter.