Pride and Prejudice 1995 vs. 2005 The Ultimate Showdown Pt 1

Hello, my beans!!!!

Great to know everyone is still pretending that I just fall off the face of the universe, and then casually say hi again! *eye twitchy smile*

Seriously, my posting schedule has gotten kind of ridiculous. I don’t even think I’m going to say my old favorite “i pRoMiSe i’Ll pOsT mORe fRoM nOw oN” because is it even true any more? Probably not.

Anyway, I’m done with saying the same thing in the beginning of every post I’ve done in 2020. I’m not going to lie (to be fair, I’m not lying on purpose. I really do trick myself into believing that I’m going to post more this time. Ah yes, being a procrastinator.) like I do at the start of every post saying “I’m going to post more” and “it won’t be like this forever” because, honestly? Who knows. Maybe it will be like this forever.

But you know what? Sometimes that’s okay.

Anywho. Let’s get onto into the real reason you clicked on this post.

The debate that’s raged on since 2005. Which one did better in the legendary book to film adaptation of the classic, Pride and Prejudice?

I have a lot of thoughts, to be honest. Recently I just watched both nearly back to back (I watched the 1995 miniseries on Tuesday through Friday and then that evening on the same Friday watched the 2005. Also I watched Persuasion that afternoon. A TRIP TO AUSTENTOWN. Seriously, it was like the best week of my life.)

But it got me thinking (and discussing with my mom and sisters) which one was better.

And it’s really not something I can explain quickly. Because, well, I’ll just explain it like this:

Elizabeth Bennet. She’s unique, charming, and fun, and yet so many girls can relate to her. She’s what every story heroine wants to be yet so few achieve.

I feel like Kiera Knightley was born for this role. She captures the fun loving, smiling, delighting-in-anything-ridiculous-ness of Lizzy Bennet. Her charm, wit, smile, thoughtfulness, kindness and passion made her truly a pleasure to watch.

Granted, I’ll admit I was having war flashbacks from all of the poorly written Spunky Heroines™ I’ve read in my years. I’ve almost come to dislike the trope because of the so many poor versions I’ve read of this. But I feel like my worries were not needed. It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed a sassy girl character, and it was so refreshing to see it done well.

But as much as I loved Knightley’s performance, I actually preferred Jennifer Ehle’s portrayal of the character. Her subtle, polite wit and reserved disposition actually made me warm up to her more quickly and I instantly loved her subtlety and introverted quietness, because I wished I saw more characters like hers. I wanted to sit down to have tea with her.

(and that my friends, is my gauge for how much I love a character. By how much I would enjoy sitting down to tea and a chat. For Elizabeth? She gets a 10/10 for the Chat With Tea Scale.)

Oh, sweet Jane. Her sweet personality and shyness made her endeared to me very quickly. Her sweet, two-idiots-in-love romance with Mr. Bingley was just too perfect. (Too bad Mr. Darcy almost ruined it.)

I really felt her heartache when Mr. Bingley left (dang Mr. Darcy (I’m just kidding. I love him.)) And I could just FEEL the aching love she had for Mr. Bingley. I UNDERSTOOD why she loved him. I wanted her and Mr. Bingley to get together only if it was just for Jane and how happy I knew it would make her.

And when she did finally know that he loved her back? UGH (ಥ ͜ʖಥ) Those joyful tears in her eyes make me want to shed a few myself.

Chat With Tea Scale? 8.5/10

And just as a side note, her relationship with Elizabeth is just the best thing ever.

I don’t have a lot of really angry opinions about either movie, except that every time I see the 2005 Jane anywhere my blood pressure rises about 10 points.

Good gravy. I did not like the 2005 Jane Bennet.

I feel myself getting angry just having to post one picture

I am sure that the actress is a very nice woman and my criticism is not towards her as a person. Not at all. I just disliked her as Jane Bennet.

A lot.

While Susanna Harker has such a uniquely British face and look, Rosamund Pike just looks too much like, well, a Hollywood actress. Her face doesn’t have any unique aspects and although she is an English actress, her features look very American. (Which of course, is not a bad thing, but just not what I want to see in a British movie.)

I read an interesting comment that once said that Susanna Harker looks more like what would have been considered pretty back in the Regency Era, with her more unique nose and face shape, and Rosamund Pike is leaning more on what is considered pretty now. I thought that was an excellent summary and probably explains a lot of the reasons why I didn’t like this Jane.

Her performance felt more bland and not as sweet and shy as Susanna Harker’s. We lost a lot of characterization and personality.

Glad I finally got that off my chest. It’s been percolating for a long time.

One thing I really loved about Talulah Riley’s Mary Bennet is how she made the character more…..likeable? She was still Mary, but she made the character feel more enjoyable. The small (even just seconds long) scenes she was given in in the 2005 version seemed to really round out her character and make her feel alive and real and made me kinda want to root for her?

And although they did have to move away a bit more from the book’s version of her by making her more……..emo? Would I be right in saying that? She ended up become a better character because of that, and for that reason, she still is a highlight of the 2005 version for me.

Chat With Tea Scale? 5/10

Lucy Briers’ portrayal of Mary was all right.  She felt more like she was there only to be the butt of jokes (which, to be fair, is true to the book) to be like, “HA. HA. GIRL THINKS SHE’S SMART BUT SHE’S ACTUALLY NOT. HA. HA.”

And, that’s all right, I guess. Mary does not have a large role in the books or movies, so her character doesn’t grate on me and I still chuckle whenever her lines are said.

But it’s just that. All she’s there is to get roasted by the audience and she’s nothing more but a few good jokes.

And that keeps this Mary from shining.

Mr. Collins: That moment when you receive the patronage of the esteemed Lady Cathrine de Bourgh

Mr. Collins *shakes head* I don’t know if Jane Austen knew that after she wrote Pride and Prejudice that the name Mr. Collins would forever be the worst thing you could call your suitor (besides maybe Mr. Wickham) forever after that.

Let me get one thing straight: David Bamber NAILS Mr. Collins in the 1995 adaptation. His mannerisms, smile, acting, voice, and looks are just about as perfect for Mr. Collins as they come.

His character has a certain…….sleaziness to him that I really liked. He never did anything wrong, but for some reason he always seemed vaguely up to no good.

Chat With Tea Scale: 1/10

Now I feel like the Tom Hollander take on Mr. Collins was definitely different than the 1995 miniseries. He was less sleazy and more….. just awkward.

Which, I didn’t really like. It made him less eww-able and when that proposal scene happened? I almost felt…….*chokes on horror* sorry for him.

And I do not like feeling that way about Mr. Collins. Pride and Prejudice 2005 is full of the #MrCollinsDidNothingWrong propaganda (that my mom continues to try to circulate around our house) and I simply will not stand for it.

Comment below if you stand against this #MrCollinsDidNothingWrong mess and are proud to say it! (Please, I need supporters in this.)

Kitty Bennet, along with Mary, has the least page time/lines of the Bennet sisters. It’s difficult to decide what Kitty’s personality was like, because we’re given so little to work with. The book (and the movies hint) that Kitty is almost as silly as her sister Lydia, but not quite. I do like Polly Maberly’s characterization of Kitty in the 1995 miniseries, but it still feels a little unfair to compare the movie and and miniseries, because the 1995 version had a lot more time to take with its characters, including Kitty.

Chat With Tea Scale: 7/10

I still really liked Carey Mulligan in the 2005 version. She was childish and immature, but also fun and liked to laugh. Of course, since she’s considered “The Silly Sister” we’re not really supposed to like her, but whenever I’m reading the book (or watching the films) I just always loved Kitty. I can’t explain why, I just always loved her as a character. Also, I just really love the name Catherine.

AAAAAAND that’s where we’re stopping for today. (And yes, you do have to wait to see what I think about the Mr. Darcys.) There will be two more parts coming to round and rate most of the major characters along with my thoughts on filming and artistic design and then MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON WHICH ONE IS BETTER. (I’m actually really scared to say which one I think is better. People get rather intense about P&P remake opinions.)

This was only my opinion on the first five characters, and my opinions on each one vary so much I suppose you’ll just have to read to the end to get my true opinion on the casts and the movies/miniseries as a whole. I know this post felt extremely pro-1995, but keep reading! I have much to say yet!

Comment down here and tell me YOUR opinions on these characters and why you feel the way you feel about them! All I ask is that we keep the discussion on ONLY the characters (and their actors) mentioned in this post. We’ll have a chance to chat about other characters in future posts, but for this one, let’s stay with who was discussed! Talk to me, beans!

Also: Did you beans like this kind of post? I seemed oddly……calm and collected during it. Not so much insanity. (Well, I mean, it was calm and collected for me. This is still Penny we’re talking about.

19 thoughts on “Pride and Prejudice 1995 vs. 2005 The Ultimate Showdown Pt 1

  1. I eagerly await more posts in this series! 😉 I’ve been debating the pros and cons ever since I watched the 2005 version this spring, and I LOVE your explanation of the problems of 2005 Mr. Collins. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I hated him in the wrong way in that version, so thank you for that! XD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PENNY!!!! YOU’RE BACK!!! -hugs-
    I’ve only watched the 2005 P&P, but my friend has watched the miniseries and really likes it. I’m just not as interested in watching the miniseries.
    It’s funny you say that about Mr. Collins, because.. well, the ’95 one just looks creepy to me 😂😂😅 I really liked the 2005 one, because he just seemed more like how a minister of the 1800s England would be to me. But, again haven’t watched the ’95 version, so I can’t really say much about him.
    Anyway, can’t wait to see your post about Mr. Darcy!!!*

    Have an awesome Thanksgiving (and Christmas)! 😁😉😄

    *(and hear your thoughts on Unlocked, lol, when it comes out)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I watched the 2005 version first, and I loved it. So I had a hard time going from that to the older version (which was sooo long). I just really really loved who they cast as Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, and then they were those characters in my mind. I also feel like the Elizabeth in the older version is too…old? She seems more mature, like she’s in her 30s versus early 20s.
    I like your point about Jane Bennet, I feel like 2005 definitely has more of what is currently considered beautiful compared to the older version. That said I personally didn’t like Jane in either version (or in the book). There’s nothing wrong with her, she’s just kind of bland. Versus I love the Lizzie Bennet Diaries portrayal of her which I felt added more depth to her character?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. PENNY I LOVE THIS. I just watched the 2005 version for the first time a while ago after fighting it for so long. And now I can proudly say I am head over heels in love with both the series AND the movie. They’re both good. Also!! I’ve missed you!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU! 💕💕 And ahhhhhhhh it’s so great to hear from someone who loves them both!!!! 💕💕🤩 Who says we have to pick a favorite, am I right?
      I HAVE MISSED YOU AS WELL!!! Always love getting your comments!!! 💕💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never watched the 2005 P&P (my mom considers it an abomination) but I love the 1995 one, so I found this post really interesting!
    One of the things that my mom really dislikes about the 2005 one is that Kiera Knightley never. read. the. book. which is…kinda inexcusable. But Jennifer Ehle! She is! Perfect!
    Jane and Elizabeth’s relationship is 100% the best in the miniseries.
    Umm…2005 Jane does not look like Jane. At all. Not even a little bit.
    Ooh, I may have to watch the 2005 one just to see what their take on Mary is like, not gonna lie. She’s always intrigued me (maybe because I see some of myself in her?)
    Mr. Collins is the worst, but also the best in the 1995…I cannot imagine a movie that makes you feel sorry for him.
    I can’t wait to see your other posts in this series!
    (And…I think this is the first time I’m commenting on your blog? I’ve been following you for a bit, but haven’t commented? So, hi. I’m Samantha. I like your blog. :D)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Can’t wait to see the next part of this series! I read the book itself for the first time recently, and actually really loved it.
    My chat with tea scale for wanting to sit down and watch the movies with you: 100/10

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I grew up watching the 1995 version, so it has always held a very soft spot in my heart. I remember huddling under the covers at night with my sister reenacting the scenes and arguing over who got to play which character (neither of us wanted to be Lydia, so we dubbed her a bran muffin). I always wanted to be like Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzie–spunky, but also kind, good, and respectful. When I watched the 2005 version, I felt like…my beloved Lizzie had been trainwrecked. Now, I like Keira Knightley, but in the role of Lizzie Bennet, she just didn’t fit, in my opinion. Instead of being sassy yet also kind, she seemed rude in many scenes, going beyond indignation to just plain disrespect, something that would not have been condoned back in that day.
    AMEN I CANNOT STAND 2005 Jane.
    Something that reeeaaally got me about the 2005 version was that THEY MADE MR. BINGLEY AN IDIOT. Like come on people. Just because he was cheerful, constantly happy, and head over heels in love does not mean he is stupid!! A person can be all three and still be likeable and intelligent, not repulsively immature and bungling.
    ’95 Mr. Collins is the only Mr. Collins to ever exist. (My sister and I dubbed the music that comes on when he is around the Mushroom Music. I mean, doesn’t it remind you of mushrooms?)
    I am very curious to see your opinion on Mr. Darcy and Lady Catherine (if you do her). Lady Catherine from the 2005 version is just…not there for me.
    Ya know what, basically this whole comment has been me degrading the 2005 version…whoops. 😛 I just am not a fan… (if you couldn’t already tell XD)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What an interesting post! I’m guessing you were inspired by my post on this subject, though with very different sentiments.😜
    Let me quote Mrs. Weston from Emma and say… “How very differently we feel!”
    I never found Mr. Collins to be UN-problematic in the 2005 one, personally. I thought he was shown to be very wrong in his way of going about choosing a wife, without being so… horrible… like he is in the miniseries. In the movie I saw him as being awkward, funny, and terribly unlikable and repulsive. In the 1995 one, he’s just plain… horrible. Terrible. I can’t stand his portrayal.😝
    I really LOVE Jane in the movie, personally! She’s awesome, but that’s just me. And Mr. Bingley is great too; he doesn’t seem as unintelligent as he comes across in the 1995 series.
    Anyway, good, interesting post! I look forward to seeing which Mr. Darcy you prefer. it’s so interesting how people can perceive movies/characters/things completely differently. 🙂


    1. Thank you! And no, actually! I actually had started on this post WEEKS ago but finished it up just a day ago. I was really worried you would think I stole your idea, but I did not! I came up with this idea a few months ago! But I was really surprised when I was opening WordPress and I was like “YOOOOO I’m working on a post JUST LIKE THAT!!!” I guess it was a case of great minds think alike!
      And quite certainly, we disagree on these things, but that’s quite fine. I still have two more parts where my discussion gets into some positives on the 2005 (I’m not sure why this happened to be very pro-1995) but I have LOTS to say still! Stick around!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, no problem! Just wanted to ask. That’s great. We must have similar ideas, sometimes. 😀 Great! Can’t wait to read more!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a neat discussion, Penny! I’ve only seen the 2005 version so far, and my close friend recently watched 1995 for the first time, so I guess you could say P&P has been on my mind a lot. 😛
    I love your breakdown of the characters, and I COMPLETELY agree with you about 2005 Jane. After we watched the 2005 version together, my mom told me that she thought Rosamund’s Jane seemed constantly confused and out of place among the rest of the Bennett family. To me, it seemed like her Jane was in a constant state of shock or something because her eyes were always open so wide. 😆
    Also— I’m new to your blog, and lovin’ it so far! Hope you have a great day, Penny!😁💜

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.
    I want to say so many things but suffice it to say that this post is absolutely WONDERFUL, I cannot wait for the next posts and this is just too GOOD. 😂❤️❤️❤️
    (P.S. I’m so glad you posted again because I’ve really been missing your posts. *hugs*)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I must admit, P&P isn’t quite my favorite period drama (that honor goes to various BBC miniseries and to Sense and Sensibility 1995. Oh, and The Man Who Invented Christmas)–but I thoroughly enjoyed your analysis! It was funny but also insightful, and you did a good job examining and contrasting the different portrayals!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your posts are always such a pure explosion of sunshine and I live for them.
    Also, this series is going to be good. *grabs popcorn*
    I appreciate very much that you appreciate both versions, by the way…and think that both Lizzies are good Lizzies even if you do have your preference…because I think they’re both good too!
    But yeeeeessss to Jennifer Ehle being the most excellent portrayal of the character! I know some people think she isn’t spitfire enough, but Lizzie in the book really isn’t very spitfire. Maybe in a modern context she would be (I feel like that’s how a lot of 2005 is, a modern Pride and Prejudice with Regency veneer – which is not necessarily a bad thing), but although Knightley did an excellent job with the character and is very lovable, Jennifer Ehle is MY Lizzie. She is polite yet witty and sarcastic, and her eyes just dance. She’s very perfect. *happy sigh*
    I found both Mr. Collins distasteful, but yes, 1995 is by FAR the worst (best?). #MrCollinsDidNothingWrong is blatant propaganda and I stand united with you against it!
    Your opinion on 2005 Jane is making me laugh…cause I like her just fine? But you are entitled to your rancor…and I do think 1995 Jane acted her better. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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