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  • [es-pree de less-ka/-iay] (idiom) A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations defines esprit de l'escalier as, "An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."


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November 18, 2005


Good review. Helps me out. I was thinking I'd give it a skip, but now I want to see it, although I might wait until it's on DVD.

The 1980 version was very good. At least that's how I remember it. But I was young and in love and just getting to know Jane Austen and that might have colored my feelings. I haven't seen it since, but when I watched the Colin Firth version, which is excellent, I felt something was missing. I think it might have been that the portrayals of Jane and the other sisters were sharper and more enjoyable in the 1980 P and P, Mary especially, but also Lydia, who was played by an actress much too old and too plain in the Firth version.

Amazingly, I have never seen the Olivier-Garson P and P. That needs to be fixed.


I have NEVER seen any version of P&P! A friend insisted on changing that and loaned me her DVDs with Colin Firth as the lead. It sat above my tv for more than a month. Why I never popped it in and why I've been uninterested is beyond me, well not really. Maybe it's because I never read the book?--I vaguely recall opening the book a few times! Now, I think I'm going to read the book and go see the movie. If nothing else, better understand why I've not been more open.

I also have never seen "Gone with the Wind" either, which is another one that everyone seems to have seen! But on this movie, I know full well why!

Oh, you MUST find a copy of the 1980 version! I'm relieved that you like the new one -- I'm hoping to see it soon, myself.

Did you know they added 8 minutes to the American version? That accounts for the drippy part at the end.

I loved it, and last night I sat down to watch the Colin Firth version. It was awful. Colin wasn't nearly as loveable as Matthew Macfayden. There was something vulnerable about Matthew's performance, like you said. The other characters also paled, I thought. But then I was tired, and wasn't in a mood to enjoy it.

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