- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Movies may have grown more stupefying over the past generation, but they also have rediscovered the civilizing appeal of certain famous authors, notably Jane Austen. Starting with the Ang Lee-Emma Thompson adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” 10 years ago, superior film versions of the Austen novels have been accumulating: “Emma,” “Persuasion” and now Pride and Prejudice, which the movies haven’t tackled since the Greer Garson-Laurence Olivier vehicle of 1940. A young English director named Joe Wright makes an auspicious feature debut with the new film. It blends evocative locations and period observation with romantic ardor while showcasing Keira Knightley as a freshly irresistible incarnation of Elizabeth Bennet. Miss Knightley proves a lovely choice as Lizzie, simultaneously delicate and mischievous, powerfully susceptible to headstrong misapprehension and humbling reassessment. If nothing else pans out during the holiday season, you can always return to “Pride and Prejudice.”

— Gary Arnold

In his multimedia project Nest, longtime District artist William Newman depicts two common grackles that nested outside his home last year to raise a family. Through accelerated frames and continuous-looping video, Mr. Newman sympathetically documents the birth and growth of the tiny newborns. To the video he’s added 17 photo-realistic oil paintings depicting the nestlings’ development. At the Adamson Gallery, 1515 14th St. NW, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Dec. 3. Free. 202/232-0707

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

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