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).
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.
Emma has always been the one Jane Austen novel that I've never taken to but I was persuaded to buy the DVD last week as I've been a Romola Garai fan since Middlemarch and have recently discovered Jonny Lee Miller. Anyway spent four hours last night watching all four hours straight off - unusual for me. I loved the interplay between the two lead actors and the humour Jonny Lee brought Mr Knightly who had always struck me as rather boring in the book. Excellent supporting cast too & beautifully set - the extra features on the DVD revealed the amount of work which had gone into finding the locations & designing the sets and costumes. I'll certainly be watching again & again.
I watched this on TV first and I loved it so much and got impatient about waiting for the next episode that I decided to buy the DVD. I have watched it 5 times since I bought it at Christmas - what can I say, I'm a sucker for period romances!
I saw this on PBS in the USA and ordered it while I watched the series which was aired in it's entirety one Sunday afternoon. I am a big fan of Mr. Miller from Elementary. The casting, costumes and and beautiful settings make this series outstanding. I knew while I watched the 1st time this was one of those stories I would enjoy watching many times.