Bridget Jones's Diary


Directed by: Sharon Maguire
Written by:Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones
Released: July 26, 2001
Grade: A-

Monday, July 16, 2001 - 9:40pm

Have just heard the stunning news on the radio that Ben has won Big Brother.  I’ve been touting Blair as the winner since day one and thought it was a foregone conclusion after Sara-Marie’s departure yesterday.  I kind of felt the same way when Nicolas Cage read out Marcia Gay Harden’s name at this year’s Oscars.  Despite being just one year apart in terms of age, Ben has a maturity Blair will never possess and he’s a deserving winner of the $250,000.

Had to drive to Coomera for a long day at work and its ironic that despite being only 500m from the actual Big Brother house all day, I didn’t get even get to see the final show.  But I missed it for good reason.  I had tickets to the Brisbane premiere of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  It’s a film I’ve been talking up for a while (probably since I read the book that Jodie leant me in April) and a few screen caps from the film have provided my wallpaper on my computer for several months.

Boy I loved this movie.  It’s the story of Bridget Jones - a 32-year-old single woman living in England who keeps committing to doomed relationships.  On the dawn of a new year, she begins a diary and vows to keep her new year’s resolutions - to lose 20 pounds, quit smoking and find the right man.  She believes that man to be Daniel Cleaver (played by Hugh Grant) who is her boss at the publishing company where she works.  He’s got a bit of a reputation but like her past suggests, she again falls for the wrong man.  Good casting job in getting Hugh Grant.

Throughout the year, she keeps bumping into Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) - a top barrister whom her mother is trying to set her up with.  Every time they meet, things go dreadfully and both thinks that the other considers them an idiot but there’s an underlying subtext that tells you that something will eventually click between them.  Like the trailer says - “he’s so wrong that he could be right”.

Right from the get-go, I was super impressed with this flick.  It’s directed by Sharon Maguire and I can’t believe this is her first film.  She captures Bridget and her story so well and uses techniques such as quick dream sequences and slow motion shots really effectively.  The film has a really quick pace and I enjoyed the way the novel translated on screen.  It must have been a huge help too to have the book’s original author (Helen Fielding) as part of the script-writing team.

Man, they’ve been talking her performance up for a while but just how good is Renee Zellweger?  This is the first time she’s really impressed me as an actress and she delivers the best performance I’ve seen since Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream) back in February.  I sooooo desperately hope she earns an Oscar nom next year but the Academy has a tradition of screwing anyone I think has a chance of winning.  Nice to see Colin Firth back on the screen too.  It’s kind of funny that he’s in the film because when Fielding wrote the novel, she wrote the Mark Darcy character with Firth in mind.  She even called him Darcy because it’s the same name of the character Firth played in Pride And Prejudice (which was even a question on tonight’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire).  How bizarre?  I guess that’s a blurb I’ll have to include in my review.

Oh well, must call it a night.  A pretty exciting day to back up a top weekend - not bad for a Monday.  Memory note - make sure I recommend Bridget Jones’s Diary to everyone and remember not to bore them with frivolous details.