This delightful rendition of Austen's iconic novel brought forth a whole new generation of fans and not only for her books. Yes, I am speaking of Colin Firth,who will be forever known as Mr. Darcy no matter how many other wonderful films he appears in or awards won for them.
Firth is also my ideal Darcy,perhaps because he was the one I saw first on film and while I can appreciate his many talents as an actor, it is hard to resist his take on such a famous fictional figure. For our mutual viewing pleasure, here are some of my favorite scenes with Firth's Darcy:
SHALL WE NOT DANCE?: When he arrives at the assembly ball in Meryton, Darcy is obviously feeling out of place,unlike his good friend Bingley who at one point insists upon him to stop being so "fastidious" and ask Elizabeth Bennet to dance. Despite his haughty refusal to do so, his true shyness is revealed as an amused Lizzy brushes by him to share a laugh at his rude expense with her good friend Charlotte:
Darcy is still his reluctant to socialize self but makes more of an effort to connect with her,particularly during an impromptu piano recital where he attempts to compare his lack of amiability with her musical talents. Quite a nice yet subtle move on his part there:
Granted, he did not know how bad his timing was(since she had just learned of his interference in her sister Jane's relationship with Bingley) but to state his snobbish opinions about Lizzie's relations was certainly not the way to win her heart at all.
Darcy is not at his true best here,but the give and take between him and Lizzie(Jennifer Ehle is also my favorite Elizabeth Bennet,btw) is one of the most riveting scenes in the entire production:
While these scenes are due more to the saucy imagination of screenwriter Andrew Davies(and thanks to you,sir, for them!) than our Dear Jane,surely she wouldn't mind a blush or two about this.
We begin with Darcy bathing at Netherfield,as Lizzy is taking a break from nursing her sick sister Jane by taking some air and playing with a dog outdoors. His look of longing at the window as he dries off is sincerely sweet(and sexy, in my humble opinion):
This sequence has inspired a host of imitations,not to mention a somewhat scary statue in the middle of the Thames. While his emotional containment is an important feature of his character, it is good to see Darcy manage to loosen up a little,especially if he happens to be no longer dry in every sense of the word:
recently pointed out in a review).
As for me, I will attempt to complete my Darcy Disciple training by taking on Linda Berdoll's follow-up to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, which has the lengthy title of Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley. The writing is somewhat improved from the previous effort but it is slow going thus far.
Meanwhile, let us savor the delights of Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy who may not be a man without fault yet is a true gentleman who is indeed worth the waiting for: