This BBC production, set in the small town of Highbury depicts the often hilarious attempts of Miss Emma Woodhouse to make proper marital matches for all of her friends. Though often ... See full summary »
This BBC production, set in the small town of Highbury depicts the often hilarious attempts of Miss Emma Woodhouse to make proper marital matches for all of her friends. Though often mistaken in her judgement, she is counseled and criticised by her neighbor and brother-in-law, the wise Mr. Knightley whose attentions to her are motivated by more than brotherly love. Written by
Teresa B. O'Donnell <email@example.com>
The characters are seen playing cards with a modern deck of cards that show both the suit symbol (hearts, clubs, spades, clubs) and a number on each corner. During the time period the movie was set in, playing cards did not show the number of the card in the corners. See more »
This old BBC serial from the 70s is a slow ramble through one of Jane Austen's great novels. Like all slow rambles there are lots of incidental delights on the way. Time is given for the development of character and the unravelling of the plot. The later film with Gwyneth Paltrow is faster but shallower. This is plainly filmed and there is none of the gorgeous lighting effects that decorate the Paltrow film. Some of it is shot outdoors, notably the Box Hill scene, but it is mainly unfussy interiors.
Doran Godwin's performance as Emma is fine. She brings out the contradictions and weaknesses in her character as well as her many strengths. Jane Austen wanted a heroine that no one would like but herself, then proceeded to create a fully rounded character who is very likeable. The length of the mini-series enables there to be many scenes between Emma and Harriet and Emma and Mr Knightly that illustrate all their characters well. Debbie Bowen and John Carson give excellent support.The rest of the cast of British actors are good. Constance Chapman as Miss Bates is touching and Fiona Walker rips into the part of Mrs Elton with great relish. Donald Eccles is perfectly tiring as Mr Woodhouse.
There seem to be two ways to film Jane Austen. The slower but more complete version like this film and 'Sense and Sensibility' (1971) or the modern upbeat shorter film like 'Emma' (1996) or 'Mansfield Park' (1999). Perhaps only the BBC's 1995 mini series of 'Pride and Prejudice' created the perfect fusion.
This 'Emma' is well worth seeing. If you adjust yourself to the gentle pace there is plenty to enjoy
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