Pride & Prejudice (2005)

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Pride & Prejudice is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Joe Wright, in his feature directorial debut, and based on Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. The film features five sisters from an English family of landed gentry as they deal with issues of marriage, morality and misconceptions. Keira Knightley stars in the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet, while Matthew Macfadyen plays her romantic interest Mr. Darcy. Produced by Working Title Films in association with StudioCanal, the film was released on 16 September 2005 in the United Kingdom and on 11 November in the United States.

Screenwriter Deborah Moggach initially attempted to make her script as faithful to the novel as possible, writing from Elizabeth's perspective while preserving much of the original dialogue. Wright, who was directing his first feature film, encouraged greater deviation from the text, including changing the dynamics within the Bennet family. Wright and Moggach set the film in an earlier period and avoided depicting a "perfectly clean Regency world", presenting instead a "muddy hem version" of the time. It was shot entirely on location in England on a 15-week schedule. Wright found casting difficult due to past performances of particular characters. The filmmakers had to balance who they thought was best for each role with the studio's desire for stars. Knightley was well known in part from her role in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, while Macfadyen had no international name recognition.

The film's themes emphasise realism, romanticism and family. It was marketed to a younger, mainstream audience; promotional items noted that it came from the producers of 2001's romantic comedy Bridget Jones's Diary before acknowledging its provenance as an Austen novel. Pride & Prejudice earned a worldwide gross of approximately $121 million, which was considered a commercial success. Pride & Prejudice earned a rating of 82% from review aggregator Metacritic, labelling it universally acclaimed. It received four nominations at the 78th Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Knightley. Austen scholars have opined that Wright's work created a new hybrid genre by blending traditional traits of the heritage film with "youth-oriented filmmaking techniques".

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