Pride & Prejudice
Time Out says
Beginning with a sequence of sun-dappled country life more ebullient than any found in previous Jane Austen adaptations, and deepening into one of the most romantic films of the year, Pride & Prejudice is a total triumph. Through it's difficult to parse out who deserves the credit, the lion's share must go to British TV director Joe Wright who, with his first feature, has managed to elicit performances as reputable as those of Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson in the 1940 original—and to bring a completely integrated camera style and elegance to the look of the piece. It's a nearly perfect adaptation.
Any reservations you may have about 20-year-old Keira Knightley, most recently of Domino, should immediately be laid to rest. Her pluckiness has never yielded as much emotional depth as it does here, in the plum part of Elizabeth, second eldest of the five Bennet daughters and romantic sparrer with the imperious Darcy (MacFadyen), a wealthy arrival to her rustic shire town. Indeed, the entire cast is excellent, with special mention to Donald Sutherland as the Bennet patriarch; his tender final scene with Knightley stands as perhaps the actor's greatest moment. The zippy script by Deborah Moggach—with an uncredited polish by Emma Thompson—makes smart adjustments, repositioning the action slightly earlier to the late 18th century (when Austen began writing the novel) and streamlining a few characters into strong comic support. The sweep of the accomplishment will make you ache with glee.—Joshua Rothkopf