How did I miss this BBC adaptation in 2009 I wonder? I watched curiously as I do with all adaptations. This is at least my fifth Emma adaptation. Discounting Clueless, the other two adaptations that one can compare this 2009 one too is the ITV one with Kate Beckinsale and the Gwyneth Paltrow version, both done in 90s.
Romola Garai can be gorgeous as seen in Amazing Grace, I Capture the Castle, and Vanity Fair, but the blonde hair doesn’t suit her here. Emma can be a really annoying character, but Romla’s Emma is the most annoying that I have seen. I think I felt this annoyed with Emma when reading the book too.
Jonny Lee Miller is Knightley. He was also Edmund in the Mansfield Park film. Actually, I think Miller was almost exactly the same age Knightley as described in the book when he made this movie, about 37. He doesn’t look it though. I think his Knightley may be the best I’ve seen.He really grew on me and the ending made me almost swoon when he admitted his love for her.
The length of the mini series means you can really see how much Knightley and Emma are suited to one another. I think Miller and Garai had decent chemistry. Also, this mini series allowed Knightley to pine more than in other adaptations I’ve seen. The romantic couple is probably the best thing about this series. I didn’t really need the attempts to make Frank Churchill sympathetic, but I did like the main shipper bits. Though it does remind me that Knightley may be too good for her. Still, I like the majority of the Austen adaptations I have seen and I will say this errs on the side of being one of the better ones.
Recommended for Austenites.
Watch 23-24 January 2012.