This bbc production set in the small town of highbury depicts the often hilarious attempts of miss emma woodhouse to make proper marital matches for all of her friends. Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 02/22/2005 ... more » Starring: Doran Godwin Ellen Dryden Run time: 240 minutes Rating: Nr Director: John Glenister« less
Amanda D. (sophiesperspective) Reviewed on 2/13/2013...
Faithful for an adaptation
You know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover?" Well, don't judge a movie by its cover either! While this adaptation runs longer than most movies (a solid 4 1/2 hours total) it was definitely worth seeing. The length of the film gave believability and depth the the characters, and while it first seems rather theatrical in delivery, it progresses more and more naturally, and some theatrical qualities are absorbed into the personalities of the characters themselves. This was a faithful film adaptation of the book. I was exceedingly gratified. It is obvious that this is an older film (it was made in '72) particularly in the outside scenes, but it is forgivable. I must say that the most endearing character is poor Mr. Woodhouse. The old gentleman is lovably laughable, or maybe its laughably lovable. Either way, his character came across marvelously. I do highly suggest you see this film, even if it is over four hours long.
"This is the one for you if you love Jane Austen as much as I do. It is very faithful to the book. The acting is superb all around. Espcially in Emma and her father, Mr. Woodhouse. Basil Dingham does a terrific job playing the anxious and worrying Woodhouse.This Emma is not "flashy" like Paltrow's, but then that one took several major liberties. This one may take a little time to get into. But stick with it! It is definitely rewarding and fulfilling to watch Jane Austen's characters come to live as she intended. You feel like you have traveled back in time to the Regency Era."
Worth the wait.
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen all three film productions of Jane Austen's "Emma," and while all of them have merit, I appreciate that this version is the one that's closest to the book. I'll have to reread my copy of "Emma," but it seems to me as if this movie is taken verbatim from the book. Unlike the Gyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale Emmas, this movie takes a while to draw you in, but once you are drawn in--about the time Mrs. Elton (Ellen Dryden) appears--you're hooked. Dryden's portrayal of the hilariously vulgar Mrs. Elton is practically perfect. Doran Godwin, as Emma, sometimes seems a bit too prim, but she grows on you as the movie progresses. Debbie Bowen, as Harriet Smith, is certainly the best Harriet Smith of the three films. I also enjoyed Ellen Dryden's portrayal of Mrs. Weston, and the actor who plays Mr. Weston gives life to what is a very minor character in the other two movies. Also totally charming, and just as I imagined him is Donald Eccles' portrayal of Mr. Woodhouse. To sum up: you may feel impatient with this movie at first, but watching it to the end is worth the wait."
Definitely worth it!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently watched this series. I must admit that at first I wasn't sure whether I would like it -- it doesn't have the lush production values of some Austen adaptations - such as the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice or the Roger Michell film, Persuasion. However, the acting is superb and quite faithful to the book. I especially enjoyed Ms. Goodwin's portrayal of Emma - she manages to convey the complex nature of Emma's character. I also enjoyed the A&E version of Emma (even though it takes certain liberties with the story) - however, I really believe this version to be superior."
Even Jane Austen would have loved this production.
Mary Whipple | New England | 07/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A faithful screen adaptation of the last novel published during Jane Austen's lifetime, this BBC production contains all the wit, irony, and social commentary of the original and sets a new standard for accuracy. Originally presented as a serialized version of the novel, it is as fully developed and as leisurely as the novel itself, granting viewers ample time (about four hours) to watch the characters unfold, the subtle complexities of the story to be revealed, and this genteel period to come fully alive. Director John Glenister takes full advantage of the early nineteenth century setting, depicting the elegance of Hartfield, the Woodhouse estate in Highbury, the highly refined and elaborate furnishings of the period, and appropriate costuming. In varying his settings from room to room at Hartfield, he is able to frame the interactions among characters dramatically, and in showing other houses and buildings within the town, he provides a glimpse of the wider world beyond Highbury.Emma Woodhouse, the spoiled and somewhat bored twenty-one-year-old daughter of Highbury's leading citizen, amuses herself through her hobby of matchmaking. Taking Harriet Smith, a young woman of "questionable birth," under her wing, she convinces Harriet to reject a farmer who loves her while Emma tries to find her a groom of higher social standing. A comedy of errors unfolds as the chosen "groom" thinks Emma herself is attracted to him, and when rebuffed, marries an abrasive and social-climbing woman who upsets the predictable social life of Highbury. Emma's other attempts at matchmaking are also misinterpreted, leaving her mystified by the failure of her plans and heartily resented by some of her victims. As those around her manage to find spouses without her determined help, Emma herself must come to a final understanding of who she is and where she belongs.Doran Godwin, as Emma, reflects Emma's sense of entitlement, sacrificing warmth in favor of purposefulness. Debbie Bowen, as Harriet, is pliable, grateful, and suitably dependent. Coming to Highbury as the new Mrs. Elton, Fiona Walker provides comic relief as a woman who has, through marriage, entered a level of society to which she is not entitled by birth. Mr. Knightley, a friend of Emma's father, is a stuffy 37-year-old, one of the few in Highbury able and willing to tell Emma that she is wrong. Only Ania Marson as Jane Fairfax fails to charm. Gorgeous, impeccably produced, accurate in reflecting class divisions and social conventions, true to the novel, and brilliantly cast, this production will make a Jane Austen fan of anyone with the patience to appreciate its length and level of detail. Mary Whipple"
Best adaptation by far
Mary Whipple | 04/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this version about 6 years ago and have just about worn it out. I think the extra length allows the film to follow the book, if not exactly, as closely as we are ever likely to see. The characters are outstanding. I wish that it were available on DVD. I would be first in line to purchase it in that medium."