Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Yesterday the not-yet-3-year-old next-door neighbor came over with bear outfits for her and Mr. Jumping Chocolate Pudding to wear.

"We're ferocious bears!" said my son, smiling delightedly and doing a fleet-footed prancing dance on his tippy toes, like all ferocious bears do when they want to emphasize their ferocity.

Then, a moment later, to my beloved spouse, "Mamu, what means ferocious?" (He's still working out some idiomatic American syntax.)

* * *

My beloved spouse and I are halfway through the 5-hour BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice." It's completely absorbing and does not feel at all too long, though I mostly like the cast of last year's British production better.

I'm chafing at the buffoon-ish characterizations of Mrs. Bennett and Mr. Collins. Judi Dench had it right in last year's movie as Lady Catherine de Burgh: Yes, she was stupid and pretentious, but she had vivacity and dignity. In my production, Mrs. Bennett is going to be pissed at Mr. Bennett (who's consistently mean to her and their younger daughters); she's the one who's worried about the family's welfare, and being pissed rather than whiny won't undercut her stupidity or ineffectuality, but give her some dignity. Same with Mr. Collins: his pretentiousness should be pitiable, not despicable. He tries to do right by the Bennett family, and with a more human, dignified portrayal it would make Elizabeth's rejection more poignant and Charlotte's acquiescence less absurd.

Any way they do it, it's still a great story. Bridget Jones, the Anglo-Bollywood homage, the Lawrence Olivier (my least favorite). I read the book 19 years ago -- time to read it again.
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