Monday, May 10, 2010

The Darcy Thing

I have been obsessing over Elliot Cowan's performance as Mr. Darcy in the British miniseries "Lost In Austen" for the past week. The movie is based on Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice." I am not a swooner, but this man had me swooning and wishing for a fan by the end of the movie. This, from a woman who always thought Mr. Darcy was an arrogant you-know-what for so many years. I liked Bingley. (I still do, though I feel he needs to be a little less wishy-washy.) :) Then I got older, and along came Colin Firth's portrayal of Darcy. Nice, nice. Still an arrogant jerk though, and I never fully got his turnaround by the end of the film - the point at which he went from arrogance and subjection to class constraints, to a forthright individual who was worthy of Elizabeth Bennet's affections.

Cowan changed all that for me. Darcy was always handsome and attractive, but way too prickly for me when compared to his friend Mr. Bingley, who was immediately likeable in all respects. Elliot Cowan brought out that inner struggle and character arc for me in a way the book and previous performances of it never had. You can see him changing his mind about the heroine (who is not Elizabeth Bennet, incidentally - just take my advice and rent the movie) as the show progresses. It's very well done, and that inner conflict is evident. I think that's what was missing for me all those years - to see that progression clearly, to see that Darcy does have some soft spots under all that armor. Just goes to show how important emotion is in grabbing your reader/viewer. Plus, it doesn't hurt to look at this guy for three hours:

My favorite scenes of the movie are, or course, the romantic moments, but my favorite shot is this one:

There is something so romantic about the image of the master of Pemberley seen walking his grounds from a distance through the hedge, like something out of a dream. I'd like to step into that one, if you please!

In short, bravo to Elliot Cowan for finally bringing me the Darcy I could fully appreciate. (Sorry, Colin Firth!) :D

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