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Written by Ramya
(10/13/2013 12:03 a.m.)
Emma Approved got me interested in re-watching Emma 4. This is only my second time watching this adaptation. The earlier parts of the mini-series felt different in tone/acting quality than the later parts--it was almost like a pantomime-version at first, but the series improved as it went along. I really loved many of the scenes in the later half of the series. Mr. Knightley's rescue of Harriet and the Emma/Mr. Knightley dance were very beautiful. I wish they'd kept the brother-and-sister speech. The scenery was great! I also liked Emma's costumes. However, the whole series needed more lighting--was the budget so low??
Johnny Lee Miller makes for a very good Mr. Knightley, especially after he gets over some initial overacting. His growing realization of his love for Emma is beautifully presented. The proposal was also very well done--JLM portrays a delightful vulnerability that goes to one's heart. Romola Garai was alright, but she smiled too much, and was not elegant/composed enough for Emma. Some of her facial expression very extremely odd, indeed! And her walk, Louisa! I couldn't stand her the first time I saw this adaptation, but I found that I liked her better at this second viewing.
I was not satisfied with Jane Fairfax (again--not elegant enough), nor with Frank Churchill. Isabella was dreadful. Miss Bates seemed almost half-witted in this series. The Eltons were great, but Mrs. Elton was openly rude to Emma on a few occasions, which the book version would not have dared to do, not would Emma have put up with it. Not sure what to think of this Mr. Woodhouse. I found something off about his portrayal as well, though I cannot put my finger on it. Mrs. Weston was fantastic. Mr. Weston--not so much. Harriet was perfect!
All in all, I'm still waiting for the perfect period adaptation of Emma to come along. Until then, Clueless is going to remain my favorite Emma adaptation. However, I like E4 better now, and will be rewatching it again. Waiting to see how Emma Approved measures up, but I'm finding its version of Mr. Knightley very yummy already... ;-)
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