Posted by Betsy on June 13, 1997 at 07:58:55:
In reply to Re: Emma 2 and the book posted by Cassandra on June 12, 1997 at 11:12:28
] Well, I wasn't exactly concentrating on the shocking inclusion of strawberries at Box Hill..Rather, I was swept away by the powerful emotions of that scene: Sophie Thompson's subtle underplaying "I see what she means..I will try and hold my tongue..". Brillina tmove on McGrath's part having Mr. Knightley speak first-offer Miss Bates his arm. Its not in the book-but so in keeping with his character and spirit-you could almost swear it was. The Box Hill scene in Emma2 is a perfect example of why this film works. NO adaptation is ever going to be letter faithful. Granted, more Jane/Frank and those delicious Mr. Knightley/Mrs E scenes would have been an asset. But-a book is more than just a string of scenes. It has a tone, a spirit. And why I fell in love with Emma2 was because for me, McGrath succeeded in capturing that spirit. Again-Box Hill is a perfect example. I never ceased to be amazed at the depth and understanding Jeremy/Gwyneth/McGrath brought to that scene. Even without the blunder puzzle scene,
] Northam never comes across as just jealous vis-a-vis Frank. In a matter of seconds, JN with his voice/body language/facial expressions manages to convey deep anger, fear, hurt.. The way he varied his reading on the second badly done(incredibly effective-that tortured whisper) and his pacing: The way he pauses, turns, shoulders slumping, using the stick as support...before the all crucial and revealing "I must tell you the truths while I still can.." This is great acting/direction. Watching that scene I felt the same way I did when I read the book: Here is a man deeply in love who believes that Emma is going to marry Frank, is under his influence-and he is at a loss as to what to do. And GP was truly heartbreaking in that scene-her tearful reaction expressing Emma's mortification.."Never had she felt so agitated, mortified, grieved..."
Bravo. I couldn't have said the better and I agree totally. There are a lot of things I would have loved to see in Emma2 but I have to concede that Doug McGrath probably wasn't allowed six hours for his film. I was impressed the whole time with how perfectly they captured the tone of the film. You mentioned so many of the things I really, really love about this film.
I had a feeling, the whole time I watched it (all zillion times) that this was a film made by someone who loves the book as much as I do. I know everyone has their favorite version of Emma (although I don't notice very many votes for the old BBC version!) and everyone has good reasons. I just felt that Emma2 expressed the tone and intent of the book better than the others. *Sigh*
That's not to say, of course, that I wouldn't have done things differently. Then again, I guess I'm not a highly paid Hollywood director for a reason.
And Frank Churchill's hair really was awful in Emma2.