Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Keira Knightly in "Pride and Prejudice"

Keira Knightly received her first Oscar nomination for playing Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice.

Having read the book many years ago, this version of the story simply doesn't live up to the novel. It moves to fast and the director is too "modern" with his approach to the material. The acting is less then satisfactory, expect Judi Dench who completely steals the movie. Pride and Prejudice is the tale of 5 sisters, and how their goal in life is one thing, finding a husband. The movie mainly focuses on Elizabeth, the more free thinking daughter.

So, you can assume I was not impressed with Keira Knightly. In the book, Elizabeth is clear in her views...a woman who is almost free spirited, but totally fun loving. Instead with Knightly, we get a naive, empty headed girl and once she starts to feel love, a self righteous, empty headed girl. Completely wrong...no matter how much the director wanted it to be more modern. Knightly stares off into space and fake laughs alot, but this is not the point of Elizabeth at all.

Which brings me to another point: her obviousness. In every moment of every frame, Keira Knightly suffers from "obvious acting", meaning you're always aware you are watching someone act. Her fake laughing, smiling, and her awful delivery of lines surely hurt her performance more then it can recover. And if this poor girl didn't have enough problems with me, she also is incredibly Boring. Why should I care about a girl who seems like she can't make one move without being told to do so? We are never able to get into the mind of Elizabeth, which is horrible, because in the book, she is such a likable and interesting spirit.

I appreciate the effort that goes into period piece acting, because it's extremely hard to convince the audience, due to the fact the material is over 100 years old. But, it's astonishing that Keira Knightly gets nearly everything wrong Elizabeth. Her constant airheadness and occasional failure of a one liner, makes it almost embarrassing. Elizabeth is an unconventional character, but here, she's ordinary and more "teen" like. A real miss.


8 comments:

Louis Morgan said...

Ouch, I am surprised she did not get even lower.

Sage Slowdive said...

Hmm, I did think about it, but I can see effort in her performance, the bad thing is, it was the wrong kind of effort.

DistinguishedFlyer said...

Wow - I didn't expect such a low score on this one. You said you consider it a weak year, so I guess this doesn't bode well for the other three nominees.

Malcolm said...

I am just reading this book for our class and kept comparing Lizzie here to the book.

Waaaay too forced acting!

dinasztie said...

Haven't seen this one. But this doesn't seem to be a performance for the ages. :)

joe burns said...

I liked her more then you did, but I haven "t seen it in years.

Fritz said...

I wanted to see it a while ago but just couldn't bring myself to it. Maybe I wait a little longer...

Sage Slowdive said...

It'll probably disappoint if you've read the book....