Miri R. from MARIETTA, GA Reviewed on 5/22/2016...
Superb movie! One of my favorites. Have seen it many times, always enjoy it, so well made, actors excellent.
The Best Emma Ever!!
bear283 | 08/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version is true to the book and the acting is superb. The novel's complexities are brought out by the actors in subtle ways. Kate Beckinsale was the perfect choice for Emma because she played her duel layers so wonderfully. Beckinsale played Emma's intelligence against her lack of knowledge of the world, without being dumb. She showed that Emma thought she was superior and had to learn that someone's rank in society does not make them a better person. Mark Strong is great as Mr. Knightley. He plays it serious and heartfelt. Strong brought out Knightley's strong beliefs and feelings with grace. Everyone else was also cast perfectly. The story was very loyal to the novel. Emma is funny, but really a serious novel about women's place in society. This version showed all these conplexities with ease and grace. It was beautifully shot and directed. This is truly an adaptation to be proud of and lots of fun to watch over and over. Emma is my second favorite Austen novel on behind Persuasion. I am glad Austen's less popular works had such great adaptations. Emma got the right treatment here concidering it was Austen's longest novel... I am happy to say that enough people liked it to make this great adaptation of her work."
Wonderful adaptation with classic Kate!
lilibethfromsf | 09/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This adaptation was FAR superior to the Hollywood version by Gwyneth Paltrow. For one thing, Kate Beckinsale truly "was" Emma. Intelligent, yet misguided, wanting to do the right thing, yet blinded by her own prejudices. This woman can act, unlike the "other" Emma, plus she looked like my ideal version of Emma. The writing was much closer to the book, particularly in the prominence of the Jane Fairfax/Frank Churchill story, which was virtually ignored in the other movie (maybe because the lovely Polly Walker who played Jane in the Hollywood version was too much competition for Gwyneth Paltrow). The village and the sets also seemed much less fake-looking than in the Hollywood film. If you want to see a great adaptation of a beloved novel, this is the one to pick."
Thoughts on Emma
babydoh | 04/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a production which is enjoyable to watch if not entirely memorable after the fact. I personally think Kate Beckinsale makes the perfect Emma. (I find it hard to imagine Gwyneth Paltrow in the same role, but I'm curious to see that production as well.) Raymond Coulthard is also perfectly cast as Frank Churchill, the quintessential Jane Austen deceptive young cad (and I mean that as a compliment!). Mr Knightley, the eventual romantic interest for Emma, is played by Mark Strong, who does a very good job in the role although I must admit I had trouble seeing him as a romantic lead. Samantha Morton is very appealing as Emma's shy friend, Harriet.All in all, I give this production four stars. Although it is nowhere near as compelling as the Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, or the Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, it's still a well done film adaptation of a Jane Austen book - and that's not easy. :)"
Enjoy the film(s) - whether you have read the book or not
lilibethfromsf | 03/04/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How interesting to have two films based on the same novel be released within months of each other! "Emma" is considered by many to be Jane Austen's finest work and has a level of complexity that is more suited to a mini-series than a mere movie of two or three hours. I don't know how the screenwriters and directors decided on what to keep, what to cut, and what to re-work, but the two film versions are different enough that I didn't mind seeing them both. I do, however, greatly prefer the one with Kate Bickensale as the title character, which was originally aired on the cable channel A&E. It is a more faithful adaptation of the novel and has a more structured and cohesive storyline. Bickensale's interpretation of Emma has been criticized for being "too dark," but I believe her Emma is a more accurate portrayal of the novel's heroine than Gwyneth Paltrow's is in the other "Emma." In fact, all the characters (e.g., Jane Fairfax, Frank Churchill)in this version are handle with more care and detail, and that is enough to make this "Emma" a more satisfying experience for me."
Good but for the main characters
lilibethfromsf | San Francisco, CA | 06/25/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I thought that this adaptation showed much better the stories of the supporting characters -- most especially the Jane/Frank storyline which was quite engaging. (To a certain degree, I wish they had been the lead characters in this adaptation.) I also thought Mr. Woodhouse was a lot of fun and his characterization right on the money with the book. Also very good was the portrayal of Miss Bates.That being said, my problem with this adaptation (and it's a big one) is that I didn't particularly care for the way Emma and Mr. Knightley were played/characterized in this one. Perhaps it's the writing and perhaps its the actors (but really, Beckinsale was so good in Cold Comfort Farm, so why couldn't she have pulled this one off?), however, I just didn't very much care for the way the lead characters were portrayed. First of all, as annoying as Emma can be in the book, I always liked her (even if I didn't approve of what she was doing). In this adaptation, I just didn't LIKE Emma. She was too snooty, too spoiled and seemed much too selfish. As for Mr. Knightley, he was always the embodiment of a perfect gentleman to me. Even though he was the only who would find fault with Emma and tell her so, he was graciousness and politeness itself to everybody else. Here, his scolding of Emma was just too heated and beyond anything I would call gentlemanly and to the extent he did it in front of everyone else (as in one scene), would definitely not be gracious nor polite. Anyway, I own practically all the recent Jane Austen adaptations (A&E's -Pride and Prejudice (the best IMO), Sense & Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park, and this adaptation may be the only one I will not buy because I just can't see myself deciding to see it again and again like the others. Don't get me wrong, it has some good points (especially the supporting characters), but I don't really come away from it with the feeling that I want to know more about what happens to the main characters after the movie is finished."