At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral ... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller,
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, to have a loving father whom she cares for, friends and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors ... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
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Royal Navy captain Wentworth was haughtily turned down eight years ago as suitor of pompous baronet Sir Walter Elliot's daughter Anne, despite true love. Now he visits their former seaside ... See full summary »
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
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 »
Emma Woodhouse is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. She is perpetually trying to unite men and women who are utterly wrong for each other. Despite her interest in romance, Emma is clueless about her own feelings, and her relationship with gentle Mr. Knightly.Written by
Philip Brubaker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Austen Austen Austen, with some Paltrow sprinkled on
I like Gwyneth Paltrow, and I love Jane Austen. (That sounds bad. Sorry Gwyneth.)
And this is a great movie for its writing, and a stiff and imperfect movie for its acting. And for Austen fans (and fans is an understatement for some of them) this is almost awful movie. Awful if you love sublime writing and can't stand to see it so wooden.
Paltrow is good. She's pretty. She's appropriately upright. But she insists on "delivering" her lines. She has them memorized, yes. But she doesn't inhabit the character. And Emma, the character, is one of the best of all literature, filled with sassy individualism and social blindness due to ordinary teenage arrogance. The material is there, and it's a great story (if you like early 19th Century melodramas bordering on soap opera of the highest level).
So, it's not a terrible presentation of the movie, but it is, to be sure, a presentation. I honestly think (and don't tremble in rage here) that Alisha Silverstone in "Clueless" gets the spirit of Emma much closer. There is of course a gap of sensibilities here that I'm ignoring—a girl in 1995 (Silverstone) is no match for a girl in Austen's time. I'll leave that one vague.
About "Emma" it's worth saying that the sets and costumes are so convincing you don't really think about them. Everything is brightly lit (which I suppose is a reasonable choice, though it flattens the film emotionally as opposed to, say, the Merchant-Ivory approach). The whole spectacle is spread before the camera lovingly, if a bit predictably.
In the end it's Austen who wins. The writing, both in the specific dialog and in the general plot outline, are delicate and witty and insightful. Nothing sensational here, just drawing room observation at its best. Kudos for that much, and a reasonable translation to film. It's Austen who wins all those stars.
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