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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make sure it's Kate!
Jane Austen's stories have always been a rich source of material for both film makers and those who produce period drama for television and these productions have varied, of course in quality. So what makes one production of the same story better than another? We all have our own opinions on this but I ask that firstly, the story 'sticks to' the original book and that...
Published on 28 Nov 2009 by Bonnie Millington

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, too much head, not enough heart
I purchased the 2006 BBC Jane Eyre last summer, based in no small part on its reviews in Amazon, and I was so pleased that I thought I would try again with other adaptations of classic books I have read and enjoyed. This Emma came with 5 stars (I later realized that only 5 people had reviewed it at the time), so I bought it.

Obviously, I was a bit...
Published on 15 April 2008 by Mary Kruger


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make sure it's Kate!, 28 Nov 2009
By 
Bonnie Millington (Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
Jane Austen's stories have always been a rich source of material for both film makers and those who produce period drama for television and these productions have varied, of course in quality. So what makes one production of the same story better than another? We all have our own opinions on this but I ask that firstly, the story 'sticks to' the original book and that secondly, the characters are well cast and believable - that they reproduce the people Jane Austen invented. I could talk about many other things that make a production exceptional - details of the period, ambiance and so on but those first two are the most important to me.

The most successful production of Emma - with no exception - is the one starring Kate Beckinsale. She portrays Jane's Emma to perfection; in fact she IS Emma! Not a giggly airhead (as depicted on a more recent television serial) but a privileged young woman who is kind-hearted and caring but impetuous and rather too self-confident. Space cannot allow me to praise each actor, separately here because everyone's performance was so good but it would be wrong to not mention Mark Strong as a totally believable Mr Knightly and Samantha Morton as the pretty and indecisive Harriet. Of course, it would be impossible to avoid mentioning such a gifted actress as Prunella Scales (whatever part she undertakes); what a wonderful performance as the garrulous Miss Bates!

Disregard all other productions of Emma. Let Kate Beckinsale transport you to Jane Austen's world!
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great adaptation and very entertaining., 22 Jan 2008
By 
Beth Thornton (West Midlands, Uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I like this, especially as it has a "home grown" star. I also like the Gwyneth Paltrow version, but this one is more down-to-earth and obviously does not have that "Hollywood" edge to it.

Kate Beckinsale plays the part well. Although she is a more intelligent and slightly harder character than the "dizzy blonde" Emma that Paltrow portrays. All the other characters fit around her well and Mr Knightly is suitably handsome. Prunella Scales is an excellent Miss Bates and Samantha Morton as Harriet Smith is exactly as she should be. The locations and background are a little more real and "earthy" than in the Paltrow version, where everything is sometimes a little too neat and bright.

All in all, very enjoyable, entertaining and fairly faithful to the book. Definitely worth adding to your collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation of a great book., 7 Jan 2009
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
This is simply an excellent adaptation of a great book. It captures the humour, the irony and subtlety of the book very well. Kate Beckinsale is exactly as I expected Emma to be, perhaps slightly nicer. The supporting cast are great, Prunella Scales in particular is fantastic. A difficult job very well done.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Badly Done Emma.....Badly Done, 23 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen and own both the Kate Beckinsale and Gwyneth Paltrow versions. I must say that I like them both and have seen them more then once.
This version has the Regency look and feel and I rather like Mark Strong performance of Mr Knightley. Andrew Davies has done a wonderful job on the screen play as he almost often does.
Anyone that enjoys Jane Austen will enjoy this production. A must have for anyones DVD collection.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 22 Feb 2008
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
Kate Beckinsale does the difficult job of doing Jane Austen's spoilt heroine justice. A lovely, subtle film - makes the Paltrow version look pretty awful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Austen Had a Sharp Eye, Ear and Proto-Feminist Outlook that Survive, 17 Sep 2014
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
JANE AUSTEN'S EMMA, (1996) is a noteworthy British comedy/romance, a lush, all-star ITV television treatment of the beloved novel by the 19th century British author Jane Austen. And it was made in the days when ITV really knew how to make a costume drama, with spectacular onsite photography, a large cast including many supporting players and extras, lavish era-appropriate costumes, interiors, transportation and landscapes. It was seen on public TV in the United States. The production was adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies, who knows his way around Austen's work.

Emma Woodhouse, (Kate Beckinsale, UNDERWORLD), is beautiful, wealthy, thinks perhaps, a bit too well of herself--and likes to meddle in other people's lives. She has a rigid sense of the proprieties in regard to matrimony. And, unfortunately, her good intentions create unexpected results, especially where her own heart is concerned. She here plays against the romantic lead Mr. Knightley, Mark Strong, (SHERLOCK HOLMES, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY), who more often plays villains, convincingly, too. Others in the first-rate cast include the critically-lauded Samantha Morton, (IN AMERICA, MINORITY REPORT), as Harriet Smith, Emma's less well-born, less forceful friend: Emma's interference in her love life nearly leaves her bereft. The universally praised Bernard Hepton, (TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, GANDHI, BARRY LYNDON), plays Emma's patient father, Mr. Woodhouse. Prunella Scales, (FAWLTY TOWERS) plays Miss Bates; Olivia Williams, (THE SIXTH SENSE) plays Miss Fairfax.

Many versions, TV and big screen, have been made of this popular book, of course. And this is a worthy one. Acting and photography are top-drawer; the screen is always filled with evocative meaningful information. Great intelligence is demonstrated throughout. And, although Austen may have written the underlying novel two hundred years ago, she had a sharp eye, ear and proto-feminist outlook that survives, undiminished, to this day. Furthermore, despite all ITV's efforts to firmly set the program two centuries ago, the clashes in the movie are eternal and speak to us still. Recommended.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, too much head, not enough heart, 15 April 2008
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I purchased the 2006 BBC Jane Eyre last summer, based in no small part on its reviews in Amazon, and I was so pleased that I thought I would try again with other adaptations of classic books I have read and enjoyed. This Emma came with 5 stars (I later realized that only 5 people had reviewed it at the time), so I bought it.

Obviously, I was a bit disappointed.

To be fair, this production has a lot to recommend it. The costumes, hair stlyes and manerisms are all true to period. The story line, dialogue and charactersations are all (more or less) faithful to the book. Although some of the minor characters are a bit campy, the acting (with one major exception) is perfectly adaquate to quite fine. My favorite performance ist that of Bernard Hepton as Mr. Woodhouse, whose character has only silly lines, but whose characterisation is always charming. Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley gives a performance which is indeed strong and a characterisation that is indeed knightly.

Kate Beckinsale, however, although she is a beautiful woman and not an incompetent actress, is not quite up to being Emma. The 200 year old genteel text does not always ring naturally in her voice. She seems almost to make a charactature of Emma's less desirable qualities, as if she has performed too much Oscar Wilde. It is not enough that Emma is sometimes charming. The combined effect is a coolness that makes Emma seem intentionally manipulative, and Emma has to be warm-hearted enough so that she can at least convince herself that her interference in other people's lives is purely altruistic. Furthermore, although she is beautiful, her beauty is confined to the dim lighting of her bedroom where the shadows bring out the contrast in her features. In day time shots, I swear the only make-up she has on is powder, eye-liner and lipstick, and the unimaginitive lighing makes Emma of 30,000 pounds look plain.

My other key complaint with this production is that it refuses to be romantic. In spite of Mr. Strong's and even Miss Beckinsale's best efforts, the scene where Knightley declares his love is doggedly presbyterian. I sorely wish that more time was spent doing more takes from more camera angles to bring out the best emotive qualities of the actors, and less time spent choreographing their first kiss.

One reviewer, while recommending this production says: I have not yet found the perfect Emma, but this is as good as it gets."

I fear, for now, that she is right. I remain, however, disappointed and wait for a better incarnation of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable and faithful, 20 April 2011
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
Perfect adaptation, adorable and faithful to the novel. I'm not fond of Kate Beckinsale, but here she's a very good Emma, and Marc Strong-Mr Knightley is handsome and great as usual. I really can't decide if the best Mr Knightley is Marc Strong or Jeremy Northam (in the Hollywood adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow), try to judge for yourself. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 3 Oct 2013
By 
M. Hearne (Herefordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
wonderfully strong performances, from Kate and Mark and Prunella. delightful to watch and really transported me to another world. great adaptation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 2 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I watch these over and over again, Jane Austen beautifully brought to life, just as I imagined it to be from reading the book.
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Emma [DVD]
Emma [DVD] by Diarmuid Lawrence (DVD - 2007)
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