Saturday, January 23, 2010

BBC Emma

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.


  1. I haven't yet seen this as felt it was too close to the last time I saw an Emma adaption - I have to say also that my first thought was "do we really need another Emma adaption" - but you seem to think it was worth it.

  2. My new favorite! I never thought that I would like anything as much as the BBC production of Pride and Prdjudice with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, but I think this production takes that cake! It is the epitome of perfect casting, directing, acting, costumes, and music! It's simply perfect!

  3. Oh no!! It's definitely not better than P&P, but it was very good! I remember, after watching it on PBS saying, "dang! This IS really fantastic!"
    Perhaps, I'm a little "prejudice" to Colin Firth....and I am! I'm not sure anything could top Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I will refresh my memory and watch this Emma again though.
    My thoughts might lean toward the other side....perhaps.

  4. Thanks for commenting, Martha & Julia. I suppose I will always love the adaptations of the mid 90s best - P&P, Persuasion & Sense & Sensibility. But, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this newest adaptation, I really warmed to Emma more than I ever have before.