Reply
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,083
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

EMMA: From book-to-screen

Please use this thread to discuss all things related to the celluloid Emma.
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,083
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Paltrow vs. Beckinsale

I recently re-watched both the Paltrow and Beckinsale adaptations of Emma.  I was trying to figure out why I am drawn to Paltrow's Emma, even though I think the script adaptation is lacking (especially the "Dear Diary" scene additions), instead of Beckinsale's, which is more faithful to the novel, IMO.  Fidelity to source material is usually a draw for me but in this case I think it has to do with the casting.  While Beckinsale is not bad as Emma, she doesn't sparkle like Paltrow does.  And in Austen's novel, Emma certainly sparkles, even when she's incorrect. 

 

I'm also going to have to confess a serious partiality to Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and also compliment on the casting of Toni Collette as Harriet in the Paltrow version because they each fit the parts perfectly.

 

Any one else have favorites?

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Contributor
Lizamanuch
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-04-2009
0 Kudos

Re: EMMA: From book-to-screen

I've never seen the Kate Beckinsdale version of Emma, but I have to say that I think Gwyneth Paltrow did an outstanding job in bringing the character of Emma to life.  In my mind, I imagined Emma the way Gwyneth portrayed her and of course, Mr. Knightly was just as good looking and was played just as I imagined as well.  Even though they did not keep exactly to the original story, I felt it was a just adaptation of such a beloved novel.  I felt that they casted well and that all the players fully understood the roles they were to play and was able to translate the story well.

Distinguished Correspondent
simple_girl
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Paltrow vs. Beckinsale


pedsphleb wrote:

I recently re-watched both the Paltrow and Beckinsale adaptations of Emma.  I was trying to figure out why I am drawn to Paltrow's Emma, even though I think the script adaptation is lacking (especially the "Dear Diary" scene additions), instead of Beckinsale's, which is more faithful to the novel, IMO.  Fidelity to source material is usually a draw for me but in this case I think it has to do with the casting.  While Beckinsale is not bad as Emma, she doesn't sparkle like Paltrow does.  And in Austen's novel, Emma certainly sparkles, even when she's incorrect. 

 

Any one else have favorites?


I haven't seen the Paltrow version of Emma yet (I'm not a fan of hers) but now I really want to. I agree with Melissa that Beckinsale doesn't portray Emma like Austen does. She is lacking "sparkle" as Melissa puts it. Plus I always pictured Emma as light haired and flirty almost, something that Beckinsale's version doesn't quite grasp.

"It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do or fail to do."
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,372
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Paltrow vs. Beckinsale

[ Edited ]

I have only seen the Paltrow version once, some years back, and don't remember it very well.  I have the Beckinsale version, and the BBC version from the 70's or 80's.  I haven't watched either recently.  The  BBC versions were really miniseries, and about four hours (except for Northanger Abbey), so they had more time and are generally more faithful to the novels, but sometimes I feel like I'm watching a stage production and that the production values are a bit lacking.  I did think that Samantha Morton made a very good Harriet, in the Beckinsale version.

 

 

Emma 

 

 

Emma  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and of course I also have Clueless, which is a lot of fun!

 

Clueless 

 
Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 04-07-2009 11:52 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Frequent Contributor
WinterLady
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎01-03-2009
0 Kudos

Re: EMMA: From book-to-screen

I just rented the Paltrow version of Emma last week. It's a fun movie. (I didn't know there was a Beckinsdale version, I'l have to check that one out).

 

 I totally agree that Paltrow does portray Emma with the spirit intended in the novel.  What a great term -  "sparkle" -  it describes her perfectly.   I also think "Clueless" which of course is another movie based on Emma, is a very good description of Emma herself.  She thinks she knows what's best for people, she's very intelligent,  yet she sees only what she wants to see in people, not what's really going on.

Distinguished Correspondent
simple_girl
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: EMMA: From book-to-screen

I just watched the Paltrow version and have to say that I really liked her as Emma. She does have what Jane Austen describes in the book. I also really like Mr. Knightley in this version. He was just what I imagined him to be. However, I didn't like Toni Collett as Harriet. She seemed out of place. She is much better in the A&E version.

 

Both version are enjoyable, and like the different versions of P&P, they each bring their originality, authenticity and defects. But If I had to choose between the two I would recommend the Paltrow version.  

"It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do or fail to do."
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: EMMA: From book-to-screen

I just picked up the Paltrow one from the library, and I'm going to watch it tonight. I have two other productions coming, but I'm sixth in line for each of them. 'Twill be interesting.

simple_girl wrote:

I just watched the Paltrow version and have to say that I really liked her as Emma. She does have what Jane Austen describes in the book. I also really like Mr. Knightley in this version. He was just what I imagined him to be. However, I didn't like Toni Collett as Harriet. She seemed out of place. She is much better in the A&E version.

 

Both version are enjoyable, and like the different versions of P&P, they each bring their originality, authenticity and defects. But If I had to choose between the two I would recommend the Paltrow version.  


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: EMMA: From book-to-screen

[ Edited ]

Watched it! I thought Paltrow was quite Emmaish when she kept her normal voice, but not when she descended into her nasalized ironic voice. I don't think the real Emma is ironic; she's just . . . clueless. Mr Knightley was adorable, but too young. Harriet was good once she got past her first ten minutes. I loved Mr Weston but thought Mr Woodhouse was too fat and cheerful looking. Mr Elton was too much a typical Hollywood preacher.

 

I enjoyed the production but thought there was too much acting--the actors were trying too hard with their faces and voices and actions to make sure we "got it."  Maybe I've just been spoiled by the wonderful audiobooks I've been listening to.


Laurel wrote:
I just picked up the Paltrow one from the library, and I'm going to watch it tonight. I have two other productions coming, but I'm sixth in line for each of them. 'Twill be interesting.

simple_girl wrote:

I just watched the Paltrow version and have to say that I really liked her as Emma. She does have what Jane Austen describes in the book. I also really like Mr. Knightley in this version. He was just what I imagined him to be. However, I didn't like Toni Collett as Harriet. She seemed out of place. She is much better in the A&E version.

 

Both version are enjoyable, and like the different versions of P&P, they each bring their originality, authenticity and defects. But If I had to choose between the two I would recommend the Paltrow version.  


 


 

Message Edited by Laurel on 04-09-2009 07:37 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,083
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

2009 BBC "Emma" Serialization

[ Edited ]

The new BBC serialization of Emma is scheduled to start shooting sometime this month.  The AustenBlog has some contributors who are steadily gleaning information from the local news about the progress and the top posts on the current home page have some details.

 

This will be a 4 x 60 minute serialization and should air on BBC1 in October 2009.  The casting list for principal parts was released by BBC1 on April 4:

 

Emma Woodhouse: Romola Garai

Mr. Woodhouse: Michael Gambon

Mr. Knightley: Jonny Lee Miller

Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston: Jodhi May

Mr. Weston: Robert Bathurst

Miss Bates: Tamsin Greig

 

There's no listing for Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, Mrs. Elton, or Mr. Elton; unofficially, the casting for the parts will be Rupert Evans as Frank Churchill, Christina Cole as Mrs. Elton, and Blake Ritson as Mr. Elton (no word on Jane, yet).

 

The IMDB page hasn't been updated, nor has Romola Garai's, either.  The only member of this cast I'm hesitant about is Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley; I'm not crazy about him as an actor and if the age difference between Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam wasn't quite enough, the difference between Miller and Garai isn't going to be much better.

 

Sandy Welch is the screenwriter/adapter; he also adapted the recent Jane Eyre and North and South miniseries.

Message Edited by pedsphleb on 04-09-2009 11:19 PM
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Scribe
debbook
Posts: 1,823
Registered: ‎05-03-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Paltrow vs. Beckinsale

Dulcie, I am glad you brought up Clueless! I thought I might be ostracized if I did. I never read Emma until after I had seen Clueless and kept picturing Alicia Silverstone's character during the book. Blasphemy!

dulcinea3 wrote:

I have only seen the Paltrow version once, some years back, and don't remember it very well.  I have the Beckinsale version, and the BBC version from the 70's or 80's.  I haven't watched either recently.  The  BBC versions were really miniseries, and about four hours (except for Northanger Abbey), so they had more time and are generally more faithful to the novels, but sometimes I feel like I'm watching a stage production and that the production values are a bit lacking.  I did think that Samantha Morton made a very good Harriet, in the Beckinsale version.

 

 

Emma 

 

 

Emma  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and of course I also have Clueless, which is a lot of fun!

 

Clueless 

 
Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 04-07-2009 11:52 AM

 

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
"bookmagic418.blogspot.com
Distinguished Correspondent
simple_girl
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: 2009 BBC "Emma" Serialization


pedsphleb wrote:

The new BBC serialization of Emma is scheduled to start shooting sometime this month.  The AustenBlog has some contributors who are steadily gleaning information from the local news about the progress and the top posts on the current home page have some details.

 

This will be a 4 x 60 minute serialization and should air on BBC1 in October 2009.  The casting list for principal parts was released by BBC1 on April 4:

 


I am so glad to hear that they are doing another one. Although both of the other versions are alright, I have been dying for one that is more British and true to the novel. I loved the BBC version of S&S so I can't wait to see how this one turns out.

"It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do or fail to do."
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,372
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: 2009 BBC "Emma" Serialization


simple_girl wrote:

pedsphleb wrote:

The new BBC serialization of Emma is scheduled to start shooting sometime this month.  The AustenBlog has some contributors who are steadily gleaning information from the local news about the progress and the top posts on the current home page have some details.

 

This will be a 4 x 60 minute serialization and should air on BBC1 in October 2009.  The casting list for principal parts was released by BBC1 on April 4:

 


I am so glad to hear that they are doing another one. Although both of the other versions are alright, I have been dying for one that is more British and true to the novel. I loved the BBC version of S&S so I can't wait to see how this one turns out.


 

If you mean the old BBC S&S, you might want to try the old BBC Emma, that I linked to above.  If you mean the more recent version that was recently shown on Masterpiece (and also last year during their Austen series), you might be interested to know that Andrew Davies, the screenwriter, also did the Beckinsale version of Emma (that I also linked to above, and that I am actually watching right at this moment!).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Distinguished Correspondent
simple_girl
Posts: 160
Registered: ‎12-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: 2009 BBC "Emma" Serialization

Thanks for the info dulcinea3. I didn't know that Andrew Davies did the Beckinsale version. And yes I was referring to the new S&S that was on Masterpiece. That is funny! I would never have guessed that the same person did them because they are so different. I think that both the Paltrow and Beckinsale versions had their pros and cons but it would be nice to have an updated version. Thanks again!
"It is not what we say or feel that makes us what we are. It is what we do or fail to do."
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: 2009 BBC "Emma" Serialization

I have never found a film of Emma that I thought was as successful as films of the other novels.  I think this is in part because the book is, I think, more subtle than the other novels, and because so much of it is concerned with Emma's interior development, which is very hard to film. 

 

Perhaps the new BBC filming will be better.   We'll see.

 

 

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

EMMA: BBC 1972

Yesterday I was looking for something on my shelves and found videos of the 1972 BBC filming ofEmma , so last night I watched the whole thing except the end of the first of two tapes, where everything went old video on me causing me to miss the Christmas party. Very well done! Mr. Woodhouse was the real Mr. Woodhouse, and Mr. Knightley was just about perfect. The only thing I didn't like was the replotting toward the end of the book. It was as if they suddenly realised they were running out of time. Maybe a budget cut.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,083
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Box Hill in the Beckinsale version

Choisya's post with links to picnicking at Box Hill reminded me that the Beckinsale adaptation of Emma has a number of shots that shows the servants setting up the picnic at Box Hill - it boggles the mind how much stuff was taken along in carts and trunks to set up the picnic while most of us now would just bring one basket and a blanket.
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Box Hill in the Beckinsale version

I remember at least one scene in a non-Austen book where they took along a pianist and a piano.

pedsphleb wrote:
Choisya's post with links to picnicking at Box Hill reminded me that the Beckinsale adaptation of Emma has a number of shots that shows the servants setting up the picnic at Box Hill - it boggles the mind how much stuff was taken along in carts and trunks to set up the picnic while most of us now would just bring one basket and a blanket.

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
Topics: 516
Kudos: 1,083
Blog Posts: 3
Ideas: 15
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Box Hill in the Beckinsale version

Wow...I hope they remembered to tune the piano once they got there.  Which book was that?


Laurel wrote:
I remember at least one scene in a non-Austen book where they took along a pianist and a piano.


pedsphleb wrote:
Choisya's post with links to picnicking at Box Hill reminded me that the Beckinsale adaptation of Emma has a number of shots that shows the servants setting up the picnic at Box Hill - it boggles the mind how much stuff was taken along in carts and trunks to set up the picnic while most of us now would just bring one basket and a blanket.

 


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Box Hill in the Beckinsale version

Can't remember.

pedsphleb wrote:

Wow...I hope they remembered to tune the piano once they got there.  Which book was that?


Laurel wrote:
I remember at least one scene in a non-Austen book where they took along a pianist and a piano.


pedsphleb wrote:
Choisya's post with links to picnicking at Box Hill reminded me that the Beckinsale adaptation of Emma has a number of shots that shows the servants setting up the picnic at Box Hill - it boggles the mind how much stuff was taken along in carts and trunks to set up the picnic while most of us now would just bring one basket and a blanket.

 


 


 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton