Pros/Cons (This means that I'm not really sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing ;D)- Mrs. Elton is young and silly. The annoyingness, vulgarity, and upstartism is just because she doesn't know any better. When she's admiring that horrid toothpaste-coloured dress, I can almost think that she's just a little girl playing dress-up. An interesting, and valid, portrayal, but not one I think is accurate.
Cons: (believe me, I had a hard time finding any!)- Although this is my favorite Emma adaptation, the script seems to have a few weak parts; it just doesn't 'go through' as flawlessly as Emma 1996 and 1997. A few of my favorite quotes were also omited.
- The one thing I really didn't like was Frank Churchill. He's very charming, but instead of the at worst 'impudent dog' we have a rather Wickhamish character.
- I love Jane Fairfax, and Laura Pyper portrayed her character all right, but the looks were totally wrong. Give me Olivia Williams any day.
- Jonny Lee Miller's Mr. Knightley!!! It couldn't have been it better if I had ordered it from a get-exactly-what-you-want catalogue. The only thing that wasn't amazing, was that his "hmm"s, although most of the time very appropriate and characteristic, were a bit off in a few places, particularly the 'badly done, Emma' scene. I really liked seeing him in Donwell, in his own library. We really got to see what he was giving up when he went to Hartfield and it was so priceless when Emma rushed in and burst out that she loved him and she always would, but she couldn't marry him. And when he sometimes raises his eyebrows; that was perfect for Mr. Knightley! I think I should stop now, because I could continue raving for a long time.
- Romola Garai's Emma was amazing. She didn't look pretty like Harriet, but she was very nice as a handsomeish girl with 'good health and bloom.' I wouldn't say she is the absolute perfect Emma, because a few times I had the impression that she was acting instead of being Emma. But her facial expressions..... I know some people don't like these, but I'd know exactly what she was thinking even if she didn't say a word.
- I also liked Harriet. She was naive, pretty and very sweet. Apart from her silliness, there was a certain womanliness about her.
- In this version we got a good insight into the real character of Mr. Woodhouse. Not just a fussy old man, but a caring father, and a large reason for his not liking marriage is, as he tells Emma, "mothers die." And, I guess, from his experience that's right.
- The costumes were very nice. Many did not have the 'designed to look perfect' look of some of the other adaptation's costumes, but they looked like real clothes that a real Emma, Jane or Harriet might actually wear. And orange looks so good on Romola Garai..........
- The soundtrack and scenery was beautiful. I can't describe it, but it was amazing.
Overall Impression:I LOVE this movie. The casting of all the characters except for Frank and Jane was perfect, it was very accurate to the book, and the length made us able to see some often ignored characters such as John and Isabella Knightley and we could see Emma and Mr. Knightley when they were younger. I would give it five stars.
And now I shall leave you with some quotes.
Mr. Woodhouse: Cake!
Emma: Oh yes, Father, you would not wish to appear ungenerous."
Mr. Woodhouse: Ungenerous! I'm the soul of generosity!"
Emma: Of course you are, so we must have cake!
Emma: A mile's walk and a daily scolding of Emma is just what Dr. Perry prescribes.
Mr. Elton about Emma's painting: What artistry! (Whenever I read this I think, "What flattery!)
Harriet: This was sent to me this morning. It is a proposal from Robert Martin - or at least I thought it was when I read it.
Mr. Knightley to Emma: It is better to be without wit than misapply it as you do.
Isabella: You know, I believe my father would worry. I believe George is not well - he is listless and snappish.
Mr. Knightley: What?
Isabella: You are behaving strangely - not yourself. You did not want to go to dinner with the Cavendishes, you did not wish to take the boys to find frogs in the park.
John Knightley: Some might say hesitation was a perfectly normal responce to both those invitations.