If ever there were a bit of material not in need of a good dusting, it's this Jane Austen novel; no more mystery can be wrung from its machinations, after all. Yet what could have been dreary and old-fashioned, this potential montage of bodices and balls sure to glaze the eyes of the moviegoer, has the zing and sting of the au courant and surely much of that has to do with Keira Knightley as Lizzie, who's more beautiful than Austen imagined, which all the more amplifies the heroine's spark, scorn, and wit. Why would such a beauty settle for the ghastly Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander), the ecclesiastic who promises Lizzie and her grotesquely social-climbing mother (Brenda Blethyn) a lifetime of middling wealth, when she can snare Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen), whom she claims to loathe but so clearly loves? Knightley's Lizzie is all the more threatening because of her looks; a sun bright as this clearly doesn't live in the shadows, as Lizzie has been wont to do in other adaptations.
Now playing at Regal Cinemas South Beach 18, 1100 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.