Sunday, April 10, 2011

Emma (1996 TV Movie)


Despite being less than half the length of the more recent mini-series, this adaptation is far superior, in my opinion.

At least one minor character was omitted, but every other character was so well cast! Every single one, but especially Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. Maybe I wish Mr. Knightley had darker hair, but he did have the proper air and presence that I expected. Not surprisingly, scenes were condensed, but the result is a very well-paced movie. Obvious omissions did not detract from the development of the story, and I was pleased to see many of my favorite lines included. The harvest festival that concluded the movie was not in the book, but I liked the scene, and I actually much prefer the way the movie left Emma and Harriet's relationship over the way it was left in the book. The final scene even had me tearing up!


  1. I just watched this last night and I have to say it was great! It had a lot of the lines, seemingly verbatim, from the book. I watched the Gwyneth Paltrow one a few weeks back, and even though I liked it, I didn't love it. This one I really loved! Which minor character was missing? I can't even think of it! haha. It's been a few weeks since I read the book. My only complaint was that Mr. Knightley's hair was receding. Was that in the book? I was thinking, is that to make him 'clearly older'? And at first I thought, late 30s men aren't balding! Then I realized, no wait, I know quite a few! haha! I liked the dynamic between him and Emma, it really felt 'real'.

    Is Harriet as frumpy in the book though? in both movies, I felt they cast her frumpier than I would've imagined.

    I don't know if I'll watch the mini-series. It's a bit much to watch so many film adaptations! I think for each book, I'll watch 2-3 and stop there. Otherwise, it'll take me forever! I don't know how you managed to watch and review so many!

  2. oh, I also really liked the last scene too. Brought a good sense of closure to the story, and I liked seeing Emma and Mr. Knightley together. I feel like most books, they just end it at 'Oh, they are finally together', and i'm always like, THEN WHAT? What are they LIKE together? I heard there's some sequel someone wrote, to Pride and Prejudice, and I'm curious about it. I mean, maybe it's not so interesting once people get together, they'll be just an old married couple? I don't want their to be strife, but if there isn't any drama, what good would a book be?!? So maybe it's best to leave them 'happily ever after'.

    I tried reading the sequel to Little Women, and I just couldn't get through it! (after Jo and Mr. Bhaer get married).

  3. Oh, how annoying!!! I think when I wrote the review, I did not include the name of the omitted minor character, thinking I didn't want to put in any spoilers, but now, I can't for the life of me think of who it was!! Ha. Serves me right, I guess. Maybe it was a relative? Did this movie include both Emma's sister and Mr. Knightley's brother? Hmm... I just can't remember. And even if I watched this movie again, it's been so long since I read the book that I bet I still wouldn't figure it out! Grr...

    I don't think Mr. Knightley necessarily had a receding hair line in the book... Do you think it was a fake hair line? I probably just figured that's how the guy who was cast just happened to look. :P

    Hmmm... I don't remember Harriet being especially frumpy in the book either, but definitely a lower class, more "coarse" / less refined. Having her look frumpy probably made it easier to convey to the audience that she was "not as good" as Emma, I guess.

    It was definitely time-consuming to watch all the different adaptations. But I thought it was fun! A little less fun when the adaptation wasn't especially good, though. :P But that only happened a few times. Did you see my Jane Austen roundup post? If you trust my judgment, you can at least narrow down which 1 or 2 or 3 you want to watch.

  4. Oh, and yeah, I've heard about sequels to Pride and Prejudice, too, and other popular novels, but I just can't bring myself to read any of them! I don't know what Jane Austen had in mind for her characters, but I can't shake the feeling that maybe she wouldn't want them to end up in whatever way some other author decided to make them end up!