Emma 2009


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Romola Garai stars as matchmaker Emma Woodhouse in this BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's classic comic novel. Despite the protestations of Mr. Knightly (Jonny Lee Miller) for her not to become involved, Emma's meddling has unforeseen effects when she persuades her young friend Harriet Smith (Louise Dylan) to reject the advances of a local farmer in favour of the dashingly eligible Mr Elton (Blake Ritson).

Louise Dylan, Romola Garai
Rental Formats:

Emma - Season 1

Product Details

  • Emma - Disc 1 universal
  • Emma - Disc 2 universal
Runtime 3 hours 48 minutes
Starring Louise Dylan, Romola Garai, Michael Gambon, Jonny Lee Miller
Director Jim O'Hanlon
Genres Drama
Rental release 30 November 2009
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Chloe on 28 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I don't normally write Amazon reviews but after watching this adaptation of Emma (and pre-ordering the DVD as soon as it appeared here) I felt compelled to encourage others to do the same. I read Emma over ten years ago, in my teens, and enjoyed the book, but since then have seen the Gwyneth Paltrow film and the Kate Beckinsale TV adaptation and had to admit, they left me cold. I thought that I must just be destined not to enjoy this Austen novel as much as the others. This adaptation has proven me wrong - I have loved every minute of it! It even encouraged me to dig the novel out and reread it again, and I was surprised how, despite the clear modernisations and dramatic licence, much of the dialogue originates in the text and is merely shortened to fit the time limitations. Other additions work very well, giving us more of an insight into the respective characters.

The lead characters are perfect for me - others have complained about their respective ages but I think Romola Garai plays a twenty year old very convincingly. While others have complained about her 'smarminess', it is worth remembering that Emma is supposed to be a snobbish, manipulative, spoiled young woman who comes of age during the novel, to understand herself and her own feelings towards Mr Knightley. Garai portrays this beautifully - her Emma is manipulative and a little vain about her social standing, but she is also very caring, open and artless (directly opposed to Mrs Elton) and in my opinion eminently likeable. Emma is, after all, very young, and it is her youth that leads her into so many mistakes and misjudgements. As for Miller, he plays Mr Knightley as a slightly eccentric but extremely intelligent and caring mentor who spars beautifully with Emma on many occassions, providing some of the best scenes.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By M. Doherty on 6 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Now, where to begin. Romola Garai struck me as an odd choice for Emma and it took me at least two episodes to warm to her, a little like when I first read the novel actually. The character of Emma as we all know is a little irritating at first and Romola, whether intentional or not, was able to portray that. Like with the novel you have to acclimatise yourself to her character to understand her actions and this adaptation took me on the same journey. By the end I was welling up with tears waiting on her running after Knightley. Fantastic job well done.

The supporting cast is outstanding. Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse was bizarre for me, mainly because I cannot hear his voice without thinking Dumbledore, but he was wonderful. The Elton's are expertly cast, Tamsin Greig as Miss. Bates was glorious! Harriet was sweet and charming even if far too pretty to have even been considered for the role! and then there is Knightley. Jonny Lee Miller is one of my all time favourites. I'm in that rare camp of people who ADORE the 1999 adaptation of Mansfield Park (largely because of Jonny Lee Miller as Edmund) so seeing him in a more mature role was just perfection.

There is little point in commenting on the quality of the production. The BBC are top of the food chain when it comes to period dramas, and especially with Austen adaptations. The costumes were divine. Like the 2008 S&S they were bright and playful, more fun to look at than the standard white muslin Austen adaptations of late have been swarming with. The (or apparent lack of) make-up was beautiful, and the hair was perfect.

Finally an adaptation of Emma that is the appropriate length and just as irritating, funny and romantic as the book!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
Who doesn't know the story of Emma, Jane Austen's wittiest book and loved by millions throughout the world. Sandy Welch, who has given us in the past Our Mutual Friend, North And South, and Jane Eyre has now turned her eye and pen to this classic.

Emma Woodhouse (played by Romola Garais) just loves to matchmake, but things start to go awry when she decides who would be the perfect match for her new acquaintance Harriet Smith. Poor old Emma seems to think that she is still in the nursery playing with her dolls as she goes about interfering in other people's lives. Whilst Harriet has a note of proposal from a farmer, Emma thinks she can do much better for herself and believes that she has the ideal man for Harriet. If things were only that simple because poor Emma doesn't realise when she is the token of others' affections and that Harriet isn't necessarily as well born as Emma likes to think. All this is watched over by Mr Knightley (played by Johnny Lee Miller), the only person who seems to realise all of Emma's virtues and vices.

The casting is superb and to my mind Michael Gambon as Mr Woodhouse and Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates absolutely steal the show. With dazzling and witty dialogue Ms Welch has another winner on her hands. Indeed who cannot like this; a series that has two beauties together - Romola Garais and the delectable Jodhi May.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicky on 11 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD
It seems people either love it or hate it! Which is actually as it should be - remember how many Austen purists vented fury at that wet shirt of Darcy...

Anyway back to Emma. What I love about this version is the freshness, wit and humour that comes through in the characters. Emma starts off as a pain in the neck, snooty and in need of a good slap. Many of the reviewers who gave it a poor rating judged her on the first episode, and some didn't even watch any further... - wake up, she's supposed to be hard to love, Jane Austen said so! What this version shows is how she matures, under the guidance of a Mr Knightly who admonishes her rather than shouts. I thought he portrays his frustration with Emma very well, and yet also showes a gentler side, reminding us that actaully the reason he chastises her so often is because he cares, and wants her to grow up and behave suitably. After all we need to believe she would fall for him in the end. Some of Jonny Lee Miller's best moments are the one-liners, the looks and gestures. But boy can he deliver speeches too - the end of episode one about Harriet's proposal, Box Hill and the adorable profession of love.

The dialogue is adapted - it would have to be, some of the speeches in the book go on for pages. But Sandy Welch actually included much of Austen's words. The telling of the story is pretty true to the book, much more so than other versions, and includes far more of the the minor characters and sub-plots. John Knightly, Miss Bates, Elton were all fabulously characterised.

Inevitably some people will never be happy, and I suspect they don't like the 'modern' way the characters were portrayed. I thought it worked well.
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