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|My favorite adaptation of "Emma" by far
Written by Sarah Hannah
(2/25/2013 8:44 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Emma1 Viewed at last, penned by StephenB
E1, in my opinion, has the most things "right" about it. There are certain elements I like about more recent adaptations, but E1 unites some of the most important things that I find non-negotiable, like a Mr. Woodhouse whose appearance is not in complete opposition to his claims of frailty and delicacy and general ill-health (all of the others look far too robust and hearty). But he does occasionally move with spirit and energy when it suits him - he can happily greet Mr. John Knightley, or spring from room to room when he thinks Emma is ill.
It also has my favorite Mr. Knightley. True, he's a bit older than the character, but I love how his relationship to and with Emma grows and develops. He becomes positively giddy and can barely keep his seat when she tells him that she was never really in any danger of falling in love with Frank Churchill. No other Knightley, IMO, has the proper gentlemanly bearing, and also swings between frustration and care for Emma as masterfully as he does. I just wish they had let him say "Badly done!" after the Box Hill incident. I think he would have done not at all badly ;-) He does, however, have the "Brother and sister, I should think not indeed!" which he delivers beautifully. And he has such expressive eyebrows!! So many great moments - my favorites are when he has just finished patiently listening to Emma's tirade against Mrs. Elton and they begin talking about Jane Fairfax, and he says, "She has a fault." Emma can't help but wickedly gloat over this, but a single eyebrow lift silences her. And then when she's trying to say his first name, "George," his eyebrows are all over the place. I love how he says, "Cannot you try it this once, just to please me?" D'aaaawwww!!!
One criticism I have is that Jane is almost ghostly in the beginning, but she blossoms toward the end. Another issue I have with it is that several of the characters simply walk out on Mr. Woodhouse while he is speaking, even Mr. Knightley, which I think is entirely out of character.
Sigh. I've only just watched this adaptation a few weeks ago, but I'm almost tempted to watch it again!
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