Posted by Lizzie on 09/07/06
In light of recent events—i.e., repeated viewing of Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice while wrapping china and disposing of battered underthings—it has become necessary for us to expand our contest to those who have no lines to offer but understand who is hot.
We’re not one of those readers who feel all agonized about the transition of beloved works from print to screen. (Actually, we’re lazy and soppy and frequently prefer them—see The Remains of the Day and Brokeback Mountain—except in the case of Little Women, off which grubby destroyers should keep their hands.) We certainly don’t prefer the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice to the novel, but a) it is a monumentally delightful and accurate rendering, and b) we never fully recovered from this and don’t expect we ever shall.
OR SO WE THOUGHT.
But…wait for it. Anyway, there are many things we enjoyed about the new P&P, not least the grubby olde English appearance of the cast, assiduously toothy, greasy and disheveled—save Kiera Knightley, who looks as if she’s wandered onto the heath from an afternoon at Sephora. We were also a sucker for the Beeth-faux-ven soundtrack, Brenda Blethyn, and Donald Sutherland, rockin’ out as pater familias with a big 24-who? on his forehead.*
BUT OMIGOD MATTHEW MACFADYEN.
Lord knows, we did not see that coming.
So here’s your challenge. In short, we’re not sure we can abandon Firth, but we’ve also rewound MacFadyen saying, “And why with so little endeavor at civility I must riposte” about 800 times. We need outside influence. We need judgement. We need—as ever—help.
We have presented for your viewing enjoyment identical scenes wherein which Elizabeth busts in on Darcy at Pemberley. Here is Darcy new, here is Darcy old. Hot proposal. Hot proposal in espagnol (Sorry). Some abomination the young people are doing now. Is this a “mashup”? Was this built on a “Mac”? Can we prosecute?
Anyway, what we would like you to do is make a cogent case for whether Firth or MacFadyen is hotter. It need not be an erudite argument. It can something as short as, “When Firth makes his serving-man yank on his clothes to run out to see Elizabeth, that is hot,” or “When MacFadyen looks at Elizabeth out of the corner of his eye for two seconds in the sitting room, that is hot.” Whoever finds the hottest moment is also entered to win. If you are stumped, simply go to the comments below and enter “Darcy.”**
*P.S., if you do own a DVD of the latest version, we highly recommend a second watching with the frequently hilarious commentary of director Joe Wright. Amidst the rapturous murmuring over the “revelation” of Kiera Knightley and the “beautiful voice” of MacFadyen, there’s the occasional, “Yeah, get the hell out of there,” each time Darcy bolts from the room, the noting of Elizabeth “checking out Wickham’s arse”, and the assessment that Mr. Collins boasting of having a “parsonage of no mean size” is “rude”. Don’t you love how, in Britain, “rude” means “dirty”? We love that.
** Not that you’re asking for it, but we wish we had an extra set of the Jane Austen reprints for which we wrote the back-cover copy to give away to you too. There one is. Cute, right? Oh well.
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