Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts on 'Emma'

Just finished watching Romola Garai’s ‘Emma’ for the second time last night. On the first viewing I wasn’t too impressed. This time, however, I have some rather improved, different thoughts.

Romola Garai as Emma was so luminous and beautiful. At first Emma’s mannerisms seemed completely over the top for the 19th c. But seeing them a second time made me realize they were purposely showing a very immature young girl – who had always been the darling of the town and the center of attention – she naturally would thrive on attention, and didn’t mind being a bit overly dramatic or saying outrageous things. (especially to annoy her old friend, Mr. K)

She seemed to attempt to act a bit more mature when Harriet was near to ‘set a good example’. And after the failure of Mr. Elton, she realized a bit what thoughtless behavior had brought about, and was much improved for the rest of the film – except when Frank Churchill was around. Which – true to the book – he does not bring out the best of behavior in her, but the worst, which Mr. Knightly sadly notices.

Harriet seemed about right as the pretty, gullible, not-overly-bright best friend. Someone who Emma is quite understandably annoyed with by the end of the story. (of course she was the one who created the ‘monster’ so to speak, but yeah)

Frank Churchill was fairly charming I have to admit – and he did flirt outrageously with Emma. Poor Jane Fairfax! She wasn’t so easy to relate to as the Jane Fairfax in the Kate Beckinsdale Emma, you never really felt anything for her – but then you really aren’t supposed to. Emma never could warm to her or understand her until the secret engagement came out. She also seemed young and naïve enough to fall for the unworthy Frank Churchill.

Mr. Elton was perfect! Handsome – but horridly melodramatic and slimy.

And Mrs. Elton was beautiful – but rightly obnoxious and controlling. Her showy, overdone clothing fitted her well.

Mr. Woodhouse was very humorous. Although he didn’t look much like an invalid…:^)

Mr. Knightly was good. Funny, thoughtful, serious, blunt. Concerned for everyone. The perfect gentleman in every way – and his arguments with Emma were so cute. Though I didn’t like the blue and green velvet coats he wore. I thought he looked much more dashing when he was in black at the ball.

This Miss Bates wasn’t as hilarious at the Sophie Thomson version. Though she brought more depth to the character – she was still annoying, but in a sad sort of way….

I liked that with the longer running time we got to see more detail into the storyline and lives of the characters. Although – it seemed strange that they copied the Kate Beckinsdale version with the ‘daydreams’ that Emma has about Jane Fairfax and Mr. Dixon and Mr. Knightly. The Highbury ball was very well done, though. I like getting to see full dances, and not just bits and pieces.

The costumes were quite lovely. (finally we get to see some new Regency stuff !) Several of Emma’s dresses I want to recreate – the orange and green print dress she wear’s to Miss Taylor’s wedding, her yellow/gold honeymoon dress, her pink/gold Box Hill Dress, and a cute brown print sheer dress. Oh – and that darling little pale yellow bodice over the green dress. Love it. Some of Harriet’s were very nice too. I appreciated the fact that they kept most of the necklines from being too revealing. The only thing I didn’t care for were the white blouses that Emma and Harriet wore much of the time under short sleeve dresses.

Quite a lovely movie overall. I will most assuredly be getting this one on DVD.
Screen caps here.


Nina said...

Yay, another fan! I agree with pretty much everything you said, except I kind of like that Michael Gambon looked less sickly, showing that he was truly a hypochondriac and the illness was all in his head. XD Also, I don't know if it was added later but this screenplay was actually written in the 90s, before the Beckinsale version, so the daydreams may have just been a coincidentally similar idea. :) Great review!

Real Life Reslers said...

It is weird that sometimes I wish that people still dressed that way?

Fiddlin Girl said...

Hmm, I have never seen that version.. Haha, a new great reason to watch another chick flick. ;) lol!

Great review! Now I can't wait to see it! Be a whole lot more fun if you were with us, but oh well.. :(

Love ya!

God's Gal Sarah said...

Now I want to see it! Is it in Theaters, or on DVD?

marvelousme said...

It's funny that you say that about the white shirts under the dresses, because my friend and I were just commenting on the very subject only a couple of weeks ago. We both agree, that they were unflattering and ridicules-looking. I have to agree, as well, to the comment about the raised necklines. I did very much appreciate that they did that.

I think what I liked best about this movie, apart from the drop-dead gorgeous landscape and houses one could swoon over, were the colorful and creative costumes. I really thought they added to the characters, without being too costume-y. I can invision the characters as real people, wearing those kinds of clothes every day.(In their own time, of course)

I really enjoyed the movie, and I enjoyed hearing your opinion of each character. Even though I have never read the book(I honestly just haven't gotten to it yet)I can relate to your opinions of the characters. I had many of the same thoughts when watching "Emma".

kristen said...

PTL!!!!!!!!! Someone who loves the LORD that likes BBC movies.

Michaela said...

I haven't seen this particular version...BUT! I've learned 'Ships Cook,' one of the dances in the ball scene. Very fun and interesting. :) But anyway. My sisters and I English Country Dance, so I felt the need to bring that up! lol

~ Michaela


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