Saturday, January 23, 2010
I’ve just watched the new BBC production of Emma. I’m glad I read the book again recently because I found I liked Emma better this time than ever before so I was predisposed to enjoy the series. Romola Garai was a lovely Emma. She portrayed Emma’s unconscious snobbery & frustration with the inanities of village life as well as the loving care she shows her father. Jonny Lee Miller was wonderful as Mr Knightley, one of my favourite Austen heroes. He did a lot with just a glance. Mr Knightley’s reactions to Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, Harriet Smith added so much that you sometimes miss when reading the book because you’re so focussed on Emma. Christina Cole was a suitably snobbish, self-absorbed Mrs Elton. The production looked gorgeous, the costumes were beautiful, such lovely clear strong colours. In one of the extra features on the DVD, the designer said she didn’t want a washed-out muslin look to the production & she certainly achieved that. It was especially interesting to see how Harriet’s clothing copied Emma’s as their friendship developed as a symbol of Emma trying to remake Harriet in her own image. The final episode was especially moving as Emma realises her love for Mr Knightley & sees the harm she has done to Harriet &, she thinks, her own happiness, by their friendship.