Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her...
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Jonny Lee Miller,
At age 10, Fanny Price is sent by her destitute mother to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. As a child she was often made to feel that she was the poor relation but... See full summary »
The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »
The daughter of a country doctor copes with an unwanted stepmother, an impetuous stepsister, burdensome secrets, the town gossips, and the tug on her own heartstrings for a man who thinks of her only as a friend.
Emma Woodhouse has a rigid sense of propriety as regards matrimonial alliances. Unfortunately she insists on matchmaking for her less forceful friend, Harriet, and so causes her to come to ... See full summary »
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, a loving father whom she cares for, friends, and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors for her friends, most of all Harriet Smith. Emma is desperate for Harriet to find happiness, but every suitor she finds for her friend ends up attracted to Emma herself. But is Emma so focused on Harriet's happiness that she is not considering her own happiness in love? Written by
Mel from the Untied Kingdom
Not another "Emma"! And not Romola Garai! This was never my favourite Jane Austen book, always read with "what's the point?" on my lips; and I've never really taken to Garai's rather frosty beauty on screen. But I found myself liking this adaptation in spite of myself as it went on. Grudgingly. But really, there are other books out there! Must we do the same dance over and over again? Despite being determined to dislike Garai's "Emma", by the end I was appreciative of how she managed to balance her character foibles and genuinely good qualities. Johnny Lee Miller took a bit of getting used to, but put in an excellent, subtle and likable performance as Mr Knightley. My only slight snarky point would be that there didn't appear to be a really discernible difference in age between him and Emma, which represents such a significant barrier in the original story to Emma's consideration of Mr Knightley as something more than a scolding old friend, her superior in age, intellect and gravitas. Generally the cast was high quality I'd love to see Jodhi May given more full-on screen time. Her face as a (slightly!) older woman is as extraordinary as it was when she played the silent screen star in "Last of the Mohicans" way back in 1992.
There were more of the now familiar jarring, socially-aware inserts into the screenplay from writer Sandy Welch - it's almost comforting to note that they sit as uncomfortably in Austen's text as they did in Gaskell's ("North & South"). Somehow her scripts seem to make the least of the best material I can't quite work it out. Very annoying, like the awkward waving at each other frequently indulged in by the lead characters. At least it wasn't all about heaving bosoms, as others have been. But the last two episodes were, I thought, very much better, less awkward, more serious and more seriously enjoyable, than the first two.
I've always experienced Mr Woodhouse, Emma's father, as a fussy, over-delicate, nervous and entirely unlikeable character. But writer Welch and Michael Gambon have done something very interesting: they've turned him into someone who might almost have a nameable medical condition in today's psychologically aware times. This, together with Emma's loving and committed care of him, generates considerable empathy this Mr Woodhouse is a person that a lot of people with an elderly parent or grandparent might well recognise. That was a touchingly unexpected thing to tease from the source material.
Still, I'd love to now move on from the microscopic study of the 1% of Regency England that dwelt in fine houses and did nothing but sit interminably in elegant chairs. All right, so I didn't have to watch it but I always do
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