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Monday, December 02, 2013

A few of my favorite Firth moments from Pride & Prejudice

I'm getting close to the end of my Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge this year, which originated from Austenprose,and spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving weekend with the 1995 miniseries version of P&P.

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:

A PRIVATE PERFORMANCE: Later in the story, Lizzie's visit to Rosings has her encounter Darcy,along with his charming cousin Col. Fitzwilliam and their determined to be heard aunt Lady Catherine.

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:

CAUGHT IN A BAD PROPOSAL DANCE: Unfortunately, Darcy ruins his best efforts at courtship by making an offer of marriage that insults Lizzie's entire family. If he had only stopped at "how much I admire and love you!"

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:

DAMP DARCY,PART I: Yes, I will be shameful and revel in the glorious pleasure to be had in seeing Mr. Darcy soaking wet.

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):

DAMP DARCY,PART II: Now we come to the infamous diving scene,as Darcy arrives home a bit earlier than expected and takes a dip in the lake before running into an unexpected guest,Lizzy with her aunt and uncle Gardner.

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:

An additional bonus that aided my Colin Firth fever this past weekend was in finishing Mia March's Finding Colin Firth(which is a nice relaxing read,even if the author did make an error in quoting Firth's Darcy. Kudos to her for being a gracious lady about it when it was 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:



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