Sunday

Pride and Prejudice movie characters, part 4


Continuing our discussion of the other characters
Uncle and Aunt Gardiner

The Gardiners, like Georgiana, are an integral part of the Pride and Prejudice story. Just consider: Lizzy is traveling with them on their Northern tour for three weeks, which leads to her and Darcy being thrown together again while they are visiting Pemberley. Later on, it is Aunt Gardiner who gives Lizzy the full account of Darcy’s involvement in finding Lydia and Wickham, which, as we know, moves her to thank Darcy for what he did for her sister, which then leads him to propose again! It is a pity that more of the movie adaptations don’t allow for these two characters from the book to have more screen time.

But when I think of Uncle and Aunt Gardiner in the P&P movies, only one couple comes to mind, and that is Tim Wylton and Joanna David from the 1995 BBC version. For one thing, Tim looks like an uncle -- friendly face and manners. Then Joanna is “hip enough” (if it is alright to use that word for something that takes place in the 1800s). Her facial expressions often tell you what she's thinking. You can clearly see why he and she would be the favorite relatives of the Bennet girls.

I love the scene with Mr. Gardiner and Darcy talking about who pays to have Wickham marry Lydia. This is a very short scene, but it is so striking to see a matter of such importance being settled by two gentlemen, with a handshake that is coupled with trust and respect. To me, it highlights how vastly superior Uncle Gardiner is to his sister, Mrs. Bennet, which is why Elizabeth is glad that Darcy gets to meet him on their visit to Pemberley. Though the other actors do a creditable job with the part (that is to say, in the other versions that have them make it on the screen), hands down there is no other Uncle and Aunt Gardiner for me.