Saturday, April 9, 2011

Emma (2009 TV Mini-Series)


Another mini-series. Thank goodness for the BBC!

This adaptation is light-hearted like the book, though it stops short of being funny. It starts with a narrator like those characteristic of French films, and he served his purpose well by filling in a lot of the back story. The story was faithful to the book, though a few liberties were taken, and some of my favorite lines and scenes were omitted. A couple times the screen version of a scene opened my eyes to the greater significance of some dialogue in the book, and I liked how the mini-series frequently incorporated small scenes to set up more important later scenes, even if the earlier scene was not in the book.

Even though the adaptation was true to the book, I wasn't completely won over by it, I think because of the portrayal of Emma herself. The actress playing Emma reminded me of Drew Barrymore, which was unfortunate, in my opinion, and she wasn't as elegant or as gentle-mannered as in the book. She came across as immature and confrontational and, to me, not as endearing. The actor playing Mr. Knightley did a good job, though it took me a couple episodes to warm up to him. Mr. Woodhouse and Mr. Elton were perfect, and I liked Harriet Smith more than I expected.


  1. I just finished watching this one, and I really liked it! I think I'd give it at least 4 stars. maybe 5! I liked the casting of this one, especially Mr. Knightley. Unfortunately, I watch these Jane Austen movies so infrequently, that I've forgotten what I thought of the other versions, so I can't really compare that well.

    It's also been so long since I read the book that I can't remember what's missing. It seemed to have covered quite a lot, being a miniseries, and I liked it because it really drew out each scene, so it didn't seem like it all happened so fast.

  2. Yeah, now when I re-read these reviews, I really wish I had written down what favorite lines and scenes were omitted!