If ever there was a bit of material not in need of a good dusting off, it's this Jane Austen novel; no more mystery can be wrung from its machinations, after all. Yet what could have been dreary and old-fashioned, this potential montage of bodices and balls sure to glaze the eyes of the moviegoer, has the zing and sting of the au courant - and surely much of that has to do with Keira Knightley as Lizzie, who's more beautiful than Austen imagined, which all the more amplifies the heroine's spark, scorn, and wit. Why would such a beauty settle for the ghastly Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander), the ecclesiastic who promises Lizzie and her grotesquely social-climbing mother (Brenda Blethyn) a lifetime of middling wealth, when she can snare Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), whom she claims to loathe, but so clearly loves? Knightley's Lizzie is all the more threatening because of her looks; a bright sun such as this clearly doesn't live in the shadows, as Lizzie's been wont to do in other adaptations.
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Lee Hall and Deborah Moggach
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone, Rosamund Pike, Judi Dench, Penelope Wilton, Tom Hollander and Simon Woods