Posted by Cassandra on June 29, 1997 at 12:00:18:
In reply to Re: Strong vs. Northam posted by Kathy F. on June 29, 1997 at 11:11:16
] ] ] 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.
] ] Do give us some credit here! We are not all a bunch of teenage groupies -- Mr. Northam may have been better looking (and I do take into consideration that the character of Knightley was probably NOT as handsome), but looks have nothing to do with my preference of Northam's Knightley. As I have said before, if you try to view this film (Emma3)through the eyes of someone with no prior "Emma" experience, the fact that Knightley is in love with Emma is impossible to even guess! It is not until the very end that you get even the smallest hint that he may have feelings for her.
] ] What was so impressive about Mr. Northam's portrayal is that he managed to get by with the same (or similar) dialogue, while still convincing us that Knightley might actually be falling in love with this girl. Indeed, Mr. Northam had even less lines of affection to help him prove his adoration of Emma, but still managed to convince me just the same. Proponents of Emma2 will back me up in this -- Mr. Northam is a better actor. He managed to convey all of the hidden feelings through his facial expressions, a feat that Mr. Strong could not accomplish. I just re-watch Emma3, and I tried (in vain) to catch *something* or *anything* in Mr. Strong's face and there was nothing! To top it off, MS's Knightley was just not likeable. His over-the-top anger scenes persuaded me even further in believing that "this man cannot possibly love this girl."
] ] That said, of course, we all have the right to our own opinions. I just don't want it to be assumed that I am so devoid of intelligence that I let someone's looks influence me on his acting ability.
] In defense of MS (and to the detriment of Emma2), Mr. Knightley did not know he was in love with Emma until Box Hill, and then he went to London the next day. (read the book.) So if you get the feeling that it was almost impossible to see that he loved her until the end--you're right!!! In the book, thinking back, he realizes that he has loved her since she was 13, but that didn't really influence his actions towards her except as a brother/father/uncle figure. Looking back, he understands why he has been so over-reacting (?) over her social missteps--because he loved her as a lover, not just a friend. I think that Emma2 made a big mistake in showing Mr. Knightley's love for Emma too early.
Kathy-how you love qualifying statements! To the detriment of Emma3,(and I too have read the book) Mr. Knightley during the proposal scene dates his awakening to Frank Churchill's arrival. "One sentiment having enlightened him to the other." Box Hill is the penultimate moment-when he thinks his worst fears are realized. Emma is under FC's influence. So much in JA is between the lines, but I tend to agree with McGrath-the pianoforte scene(the Frank/Emma duet) is key. And Mr. Knightley is defintely aware of his feelings by the ball-the brother and sister-no indeed.