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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).

Jonny Lee Miller, Romola Garai
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Product Details

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Established as a long-standing fan of Jane Austen novels, I explore, with interest, the coming of new film productions of her books that grace our screens. This film describing the life of Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garia) was both refreshing and inventive. However, it does not compromise my opinion for the other versions I have in my collection, and feel it follows the essential theme of Austen’s story in a way that makes it unique among other productions. The story for me is a familiar one: Emma Woodhouse, focused on her match-making endeavours to bring her chosen subjects together in marital bliss. This, we see, is where her interference begins to lead her into many confused situations. Believing she has succeeded in bringing about her governess’s marriage, Emma sends the wrong message to the local Vicar (Blake Ritson) whose affections she has targeted for her new friend Harriet Smith. Harriet, is considered of inferior birth by the Vicar who promptly rejects her, eventually declaring his love to a much bemused Emma Woodhouse. The lesson has been a hard one for Emma to learn, and provokes much regret and future caution in her. As Harriet’s endeavours to find happiness continue to pan through various acquaintances, she eventually raises the concern in Emma, when after a dance, Emma discovers her friend Harriet has developed designs on Mr Knightly (Jonny Lee Miller). In the closing stages of this film, a tender scene between Knightly and Emma emerges. Fearing the worst, Emma cuts Knightly’s attempt to confess his feelings for her short. Sensing she has offended him, she concedes and offers to confide in him as his long-standing friend. Her declaration briefly disappoints Knightly, but encourages him to reveal his intimate feelings for her, not just as a friend, but declares his desire to make her his beloved companion for life. A highly recommended, delightful, light-hearted and refreshing production of a much loved Jane Austen novel... CJB.
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