It is a truth universally acknowledged, that when you write a blog post musing about the best Mr. Darcy in film, you must also write a post about the best Elizabeth Bennet!
The contenders (in chronological order):
Greer Garson, in the 1940 film version of Pride and Prejudice . . .
Elizabeth Garvie, in the 1980 BBC production . . .
. . . Jennifer Ehle, in the groundbreaking 1995 A&E miniseries . . .
. . . Keira Knightley, in the 2005 film . . .
. . . and finally, Anna Maxwell Martin, in the 2013 production of Death Comes to Pemberley . . .
While I think all these actresses did a fantastic job in their respective productions (even the ghastly 1940 film), for me it’s a tossup between Keira Knightley and Anna Maxwell Martin. Knightley seems about the right age for Lizzie, and really captures her liveliness and charm, her strong sense of self, her impulsivity. And Martin shines with intelligence, kindness, and strength of character — qualities I would completely associate with a somewhat older Lizzie.
Who’s your favorite Elizabeth Bennet?