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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great adaptation and very entertaining.
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...
Published on 22 Jan 2008 by Beth Thornton

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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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not fantastic but probably the best version so far, 19 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
One of the closest adaptations in terms of being true to the text that I have seen in a film based on a Jane Austen novel. The film rushes through the story at break neck speed and when it does deviate from the original text you really have to ask "what were they thinking when adding that?" Sadly the low budget was evident and the picture quality is quite poor being very grainy. However it is an enjoyable film to watch.

I must say straight away that I am no historian. I have no idea how accurate the costumes and sets are for the period. With that out of the way I can safely go on to say that I am a big fan of Jane Austen's novels and have read them many times. As a result I feel I have a good understanding of the plot and characters and am in a position to give a balanced review of the film in relation to the book as well as on its own merit.

Even though I have read the book several times I still cannot decide if I like the character Emma or not. In some ways she is very annoying but underneath she does have a good heart and this sweetness comes through making it hard to totally dislike her. In this adaptation Kate Beckinsale does quite a good job of being annoying but the kind heartedness does not always come through.

When the script was almost word for word from the book it was fantastic and really bought the novel to life. However at times the film went off on its own tangent and at those points everything went rapidly downhill. The majority of the additional dialogue being quite jarring and completely out of keeping with what you would expect the characters to say. The dream sequences were simply horrendous and spoiled the film by dragging you out of the story and making you feel like you were watching a very amateur production. Finally the awful harvest festival ending, what were the writers thinking?

The low budget was obvious, the picture quality was dreadful and the sets and costumes not as good as you would have expected. It definitely lacked the professional Hollywood polish of the Gwyneth Paltrow version. It always felt like you were watching a TV show rather than a professional film with A-list actors. At some points the cast managed to draw you into the story however sadly at other times they seemed like they were simply reading aloud. I do believe that although the actors are perhaps not as good as those in the Paltrow version they were better cast and seemed truer to their characters' personality and traits.

I can only assume that running time was an issue because although they were obviously trying to keep very close to the book the whole story was delivered at breakneck speed. Causing many scenes to be rushed and then abruptly into another that appeared completely unconnected and left you wondering how you got there. If you were not very familiar with the story I think it would be hard to keep up and follow what was going on.

If you could take the polished performances and high quality sets and costumes from the Paltrow version and mix it with the better script and casting of this adaptation, slowing the pace a little and cutting out the random ITV added amateur craziness you would have a very good film. For the moment it is probably the best version but it is nowhere near as good a film as it should be given that the great script already exists. Hopefully the next version will be "the one".
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, 27 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen quite a few adaptations of Jane Austens books, but sorry to say this is not the best. I found only few roles that actually portrayed and interpreted their roles satisfactorily. Harriet Smith and Frank Churchill. Kate Beckinsale does not carry the depth of this role to capture me as an audience. However, it is still a good story and considering the price, I'd say it's worth buying.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, Universal isn't so universal. The DVD was supposed to work on "any" region DVD play, but would not work on mine., 29 Jan 2011
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Ann (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
The product was in good shape but unfortunately the Universal part of the deal wasn't so universal. It would not play on my DVD player as the region was not correct. I gave it to my mother who has an all-region DVD player.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Aug 2014
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Great dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Sep 2014
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Brilliant
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Emma DVD, 15 Feb 2009
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I was looking forward to revisiting this Jane Austen, and the content is as pleasing as ever. Unfortunately the picture is not very good in places - dark and grainy. I returned the product as of insufficient quality and can't recommend it for playing on modern equipment. I am pleased to say I received a refund without any quibbles.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generally bland and unconvincing, 28 July 2011
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
For Emma fans, this version is worth watching for its fantastic portrayals of Mr. Woodhouse and, especially, Frank Churchill. This Frank is far more sophisticated, sinister and thus more dangerous than Ewan McGregor's. He looks a lot like Lord Byron in his face--beautifully handsome, sculpted features and perfectly pomaded hair, and he is every moment doing a satanically brilliant job of manipulating those around him (as you can tell, I myself was nearly drawn under his spell!). An excellent and highly intelligent performance, obviously the result of the actor's sensitive study of the novel. Emma herself, though more down to earth than Paltrow's, is insipid and neither bright nor witty. Her character flaws are weakly rendered and her virtues hardly at all (in the Paltrow version, by contrast, it really matters that we see Emma caring with saintly patience for her father and deftly visiting the poor). Combined with the very skimpy amount we are told of Emma's background situation (for example, the fact that she had ruled her household, including her governess, as the most intelligent and strongest-willed person in the family since she was 13) and her lack of depth and focus, she makes for an insipid heroine who barely resembles that of Austen's briliantly articulate novel. Mr. Knightley stikes me as unconvincing (something about his eyes--and the fact that he recalls holding Emma as a baby right as he's about to kiss her seems pretty creepy too). We need to be absolutely convinced of Mr. Knightley's virtue, sense, and integrity for the character to work--in the hollywood version, Jeremy Northan does this, even if he looks a little too swell and 1990s). Harriet is overly weak-charactered and too badly in need of pomade for her hair (surely Emma would have lent her some!); she is also peculiarly sickly looking. Miss Bates very random, ditto Mr. Elton. Jane Fairfax a slightly more characterized version of her hollywood counterpart--thinner, more anemic, and less charismatic, but otherwise very similar. This ITV version has less overt humor and caricature than the hollywood version, with some welcome extra dialogue from the book in certain places--but overall this is a less intelligent, less aware, and less impacting version with not just a much smaller budget, but also less artistic shape, unity, and, surprisingly, a more weakly conceived moral vision.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 16 Sep 2011
This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I was looking forward to watching this after hearing so many good reports but how disappointing, I found I was urging it to finish. I have previously watched Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam which even though at times was not always true to the book it had life to it. This version of Emma lacked this it felt like it would never end, Emma came across as hard and a snob who would look down at everyone and Mr Knightley didnt seem to sure any true effection which you do not get from the book. Mr & Mrs Elton however was correct as was Mr Woodhouse.
All in all I will stay with the other version.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful!!!!, 4 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Emma [DVD] (DVD)
I threw this DVD away after watching it once. I didn't like this film at all because of ugly looking people in starring roles. I much prefer the version with Gwyneth Paltrow starring as Emma. I have all six DVD's of Austin's novels and love them, but this one with Kate I did not like at all.
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Emma [DVD]
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