The Review: Long have I been haunted by the memory of my mother and her infatuation with a dripping wet Mr Darcy emerging from a lake in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It felt that Colin Firth would forever be stuck in Bridget Jones and St Trinians sequels in an attempt to remove that memory, but here is finally something for him to get his teeth into.
In a career best performance, Firth conveys huge amounts of emotion with the most subtle of facial gestures. He runs the full gamut of emotions over the course of an eventful day, although it is the flashbacks which most truly allow him to flex his acting muscles.
Support is stong from Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult, but the other main focus is first time director Tom Ford, whose fashion background shows through clearly in the attention to shot construction and composition, and in the subtle and effective use of colour and contrast to illustrate the changes in Firth’s character’s moods. A memorable experience, if not the most lasting of impressions.
Why see it in the cinema: To experience up close the full subtleties and nuances of Firth’s compelling performance.
The Score: 8/10
The Review: So, David Tennant. I can understand you not wanting to get typecast as Doctor Who, even though yours is one of the best portrayals ever. And I can also understand you not wanting to be bogged down in Shakespeare forever. But this? Really?
The first St. Trinians remake was an often charmless affair that still had a number of redeeming features – Russell Brand, Gemma Arterton in schoolgirl uniform, Rupert Everett cross-dressing, Colin Firth being a total wassock. This either removes such elements, marginalises them to the point of uselessness or simply doesn’t know what to do with them this time round.
From the toe-curling pirate opening to a mortifying flash-mob recreation, through to a tedious finale at the Globe, this does no favours for the reputations of any involved. See the first if you must, but avoid this one at all costs.
Why see this at the cinema: If you’re an 8 year old girl who’s lost the DVD of the first one, or a serial masochist who’s too proud to be British.
The Score: 2/10