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Wouldn’t you know it, I watched another version of Emma? This one stars Romola Garai as Emma, and Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley.
Garai was a superb Emma! She was self-assured, lively, full of wit, charming, and knew how to get her way, as only Emma could. Miller was a very good Knightley. He was mature, thoughtful, warm, and genuinely concerned for the welfare of Emma and her father. In relation to Emma, Miller acts like a concerned older brother for much of the movie.
This movie had some very strong supporting characters. Mr. Woodhouse’s character was developed more than even the book does. We are shown the reason for his overwhelming concerns for the health of his family and friends. I also like how they added depth to Miss Bates’ character. Though she prattles, she is delicate and thoughtful. The suffering of both herself and her mother are shown, though subtly. Jane Fairfax is very likable in this adaptation, in my opinion. She is more warm and open, and enjoys a healthier relationship with Emma than in other versions (though opposed to the book itself). Mr. Elton is humorous in his affected gallantry. Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston is wonderful in her ease and familiarity. Okay, I’ll stop now. I don’t really need to comment on every character, do I?
The overall look of the movie was fantastic–really nice scenery, furnishings, and costuming! There were some dialogue changes, but I think they were meant to update the story a bit for modern audiences. I noticed that in this version there is much more interaction between Emma and Mr. Knightley than in other versions. I’m sure this is made easier because of the extended length of it. The dance scene was nice and lively–much more spirited than generally seen in movies depicting this time period. The final thing I’d like to comment on is the believability of the relationships between the different characters. It is easy to imagine their relationships and attachments to be real. I love that in a good movie!
In case you couldn’t tell, this is my favorite version of Emma. I would suggest it to all Jane Austen fans and those who enjoy a good romantic story. Happy viewing!
Rating: 5 Stars
Until next time…
OTHER EMMA POSTS:
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Emma – Movie 1996
- Emma – Movie 1996 (Gwyneth Paltrow version)
- Emma – TV Mini-Series 1972