Sunday, April 4, 2010

Battle of the Emma's

I know this is a little late. Everyone has already done their posts on the new BBC Emma. But I say better late than never, right???

After watching the premier of BBC's newest Jane Austen movie, Emma, I was thrilled! The movie, in my opinion, was well-made and extremely entertaining! So imagine my surprise to read reviews on other people's blogs saying how the shorter, older "Emma" starring Gwyneth Paltrow was so much better! Could it be true?? I hastily requested the older Emma from the library and awaited its arrival with much anticipation.

I watched it with my sister the other night, and as the camera, panning away from Mr. Knightly and Mrs. Emma Woodhouse/Knightly's wonderful wedding, faded into the credits, I thought the following... What were they thinking???

I read one reviewer who stated that the length of the newer Emma ( 4 hours VS. 2 hours) was too long, and it did not reveal much more of the story than the 2 hr. version. I beg to differ. The Gwyneth version was very much like a summery of the newer edition. The length of the newer Emma gave the filmmakers more time to develop the storyline. I felt there was a lot missing from the older version.

Another person said they would not show the new Emma to a person who was not previously familiar with the story. I personally went into this with only the vaguest idea of the storyline,
and understood (and enjoyed!) the miniseries.

Here is a list of some of the charectors and how I felt they compared to one another:

-Emma Woodhouse – Romola Garai wins this one! She was perfect in my opinion. She seemed real, and not such a brat as Gwyneth. I realize Emma is supposed to be...well... Emma, but you have to like the main character at least a little!

-George Knightley – The newer Mr. K is PERFECT! I realize he is supposed to be a lot older than Emma, but I like how in the newer version he seems older (and more mature! ) than Emma without it being wierd. *cue flashback to Colonial Brandon in Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson's "Sense and Sensiblity. ew*

-Mr Woodhouse – Harry Potter fans will recognize Mr. Woodhouse as Prof. Dumbledore in the newer Emma. Very funny. I like Mr. Woodhouse in both adaptations.

-Harriet Smith – In the old "Emma", Harriet was... well.... stupid. Funny, but stupid. In the newer one, I felt you could take her a bit more seriously. She was more like an air-head, but a human air-head. The old Harriet was like a cartoon air-head.

Frank Churchill – I am sorry, Ewan McGregor, but Rupert Evans takes this one! I judged this not only on the acting, but on the hairstyle too. oh my. VS.

Jane Fairfax – I liked the Jane Fairfax in the older "Emma" much better. She actually had a personality!

Miss Bates – Again, Mrs. Bates was much better in the older "Emma". In the new one, when Emma insults her, you're just like "that stinks". In the old one, it just rips your heart out!

Mr. Elton – I enjoyed the newer Mr. Elton much better. In the old one, he was sort of stupid. (Not to mention, he played "Floop" On 'Spy Kids". ya.) In the newer one, you think that possibly he might be a good guy, but then he makes the transition to bad guy easily too.

Augusta Elton – The old "Mrs. Elton" was f-u-n-n-y, so I was a bit dissapointed in the newer one.

All in all, I enjoyed the new BBC Emma much better. Everything from the costumes to the script to the acting was just perfect. It was a beautiful movie-- one I would love to watch over and over again!

Read Other's Reviews:
- Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows
- Wickfield


  1. I would say that everything was better in the newer one too. I like the same people as you and disliked the people the same people.

    The newer Emma gets 5 stars. (best out of 5 by the way).


  2. I liked the new Emma, too! Though I thought the people looked a bit more "modern" than in the older ones. Especiall Frank Churchill- waaay to modern for my tastes! ;)

    I loved the lightness and humor in this one, while not being "silly".

    Where did you find the pictures from "Emma"? I've been looking for a place that has good pictures from movies, but I have yet to find it. =(

  3. I like the new Emma so much more as well! However, unlike you, I thought all of the cast was better in the new one :P. Have you seen the version iwth Kate Beckinsale?


  4. I prefer Jeremy Northam's Mr. Knightley more than the actor in the new 2009 version. I did like that the newer one included more of the novel in it, though.

    I agree - I liked the actresses playing Jane Fairfax and Miss. Bates much better in the 1996 version.