Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
United Kingdom/France, 2001. Miramax, Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films, Little Bird. Screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis, based on the novel by Helen Fielding. Cinematography by Stuart Dryburgh. Produced by Tim Bevan, Jonathan Cavendish, Eric Fellner. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Gemma Jackson. Costume Design by Rachael Fleming. Film Editing by Martin Walsh.
Brilliant adaptation of Helen Fielding’s acerbic novel about the day-to-day life of the titular boozing, smoking and somewhat graceless little lass, played with career-topping zeal by Renee Zellweger (who manages her Britishness perfectly). In adapting her novel to the screen, Fielding and two colleagues (which include Four Weddings and a Funeral scribe Richard Curtis) have pared down her witty but sometimes repetitive novel, keeping in the best moments, and amalgamating some of the others to even greater effect. Zellweger is matched ably by her two co-stars, in one corner the sexy but vile Daniel (Hugh Grant), and in the other the stiff and painfully honest Mark Darcy (Colin Firth, a brilliant riff on his Darcy character in Pride and Prejudice), both of whom are vying for the lady’s attention. Bridget Jones is unapologetically embarrassing, self-destructive and devoid of willpower, and for all those reasons she’s even more real to viewers than most romantic comedy heroines. Watch it again so you can catch all the funny bits you missed the first time.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Actress (Renee Zellweger)
European Film Award Nomination: Best European Film
Golden Globe Award Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Renee Zellweger)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Actress (Renee Zellweger)