Posted by kathleen (elder) on June 29, 1997 at 09:06:55:
In reply to Re: Emma3 posted by Kathy F. on June 28, 1997 at 19:53:15
I quite agree with you, Kathy F. I read the novel umpteen times (over the last 28 years), saw Emma2 8 times, watched Emma1 twice, and watched Emma3 about 10 times, so I was not prejudiced from lack of knowledge of the book nor by which version I saw first.
A point I have made before is that we read the book differently. Some readers seem primarily to catch the comedy while others experience more of the darker feeling. I am in the latter camp, myself.
Kate Beckinsale captured the snobbiness/bitchiness I have always seen in Emma at the beginning of the story. Emma just knows better than anybody else -- she's spoiled, and very used to having her own way. Until the proposal scene, when she is ready to hear Mr Knightley tell her (she thinks) that he's in love with Harriet, she is not mature enough to deserve him. And I felt a great deal of chemistry between Emma & Mr Knightley -- especially during the strawberry picking, Box Hill, and the proposal.
I'm not certain why Mark Strong is so disliked by some on this board -- perhaps it is because he is not a pretty as JN nor as handsome as they think Mr Knightley is supposed to be. MS looks very much as I always have imagined Mr Knightley to look. I certainly find him very attractive, and his eyes are incredibly expressive. And the proposal scene is one which I watch over and over -- from the moment he comes out of the house looking for Emma, to the end of the scene. Jane Austen did not give us dialogue for this scene after the proposal, but I think Davies' script captured the spirit well. Mr Knightley has known Emma all her life, and he has come to love her as a friend (first) and now as a lover/husband.
Frank is an immature jerk -- not a villain of Wickham's stature, but not a second-tier hero either. I thought Emma3 captured that. Emma2 certainly got more of the Harriet/Mr Elton story, but Toni Collette was totally miscast as Harriet. She was neither young, pretty (in a cute way), nor little (Emma's little friend), although she acted the part quite well.
Jane Fairfax in Emma3 was quite beautiful, and her part was given sufficient time to develop. Mr Woodhouse was best in Emma1, I think, but better in Emma3 than Emma2. I liked all the Mrs Westons, all the Miss Bates, and all the other secondary characters, about equally well. Sophie Thompson was very good, but so was Prunella Scales.
Oh, well, I guess the two camps will never be able to do more than agree to disagree on this issue. ;-)