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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:

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

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 152 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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54 of 58 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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2 of 2 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Zoltan Nemes-Nemeth on 12 Oct. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've seen other sturdy versions of Emma, but this is the first that has been totally engrossing. Romola Garai brings Emma to life like no one before. Merely watching her wonderfully expressive face reveals Emma's every innermost thought. Garai's Emma is a wounded bird fluttering in a gilded cage - motherless, devoted to her heart-broken father, forever dreaming of visiting the unattainable seaside. Jonny Lee Miller is perfect as the kindly but correct friend of the family who can be infuriated by Emma's thoughtless shenanigans but is warmed by her vivacity and innate kindness. Louise Dylan plays the hapless Harriet Smith with a wonderful comic flair, providing some of the most hilarious moments in the mini-series. Blake Ritson's Mr Elton is a superbly obsequious peacock. Every other significant character is sharply drawn and clearly bears the scars from the happenings depicted in the opening minutes of the mini-series. Never before has the claustrophobia of Emma's tiny universe been so palpable, or her final realisation of Mr Knightley's love so moving.

Bravo to the Spanish for mastering this title on Blu-Ray. Fabrics and furnishings look spectacular, as do architectural interiors and exteriors. Colour is excellent, with only a few very dim interior shots displaying grain. Menus are in Spanish, but its not too hard to ensure the English audio track is selected. The extra clarity is definitely worth the slight bother of the Spanish navigation.

This has to be the funniest and yet most deeply moving Emma ever. Romola Garai and her co-stars have so thoroughly inhabited their characters it's going to be a hard act to follow. For me, this ranks alongside Colin Firth's Pride and Prejudice. The Blu-ray presentation is the icing on the cake.
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