One of my favorite Jane Austen books and movies is Emma.
I can tell you that I've read the book numerous times and have watched every single version of the movie on TV. I even thought the Gwyneth Paltrow version was my favorite, until now.
Screenwriter Sandy Welch retooled the story and came out with this absolutely amazing version of Emma.
Now I'm not sure if you're aware that PBS Masterpiece Theatre is currently showing this wonderful movie, but if you're not, don't worry. It's being brought to us in 3 episodes, the first of which premiered here in the US last Sunday and you can watch on the right here.
Tonight we will be delighted with Episode 2 at 9pm and February 7th Episode 3. What I love is that you can watch them all online, the first one is already available and here is the line up for the other two.
Episode two of Emma is available for online viewing Monday, February 1, 2010, through Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Eastern time.
Episode three of Emma is available for online viewing Monday, February 8, 2010, through Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Eastern time.
As you may recall the book starts with Miss Taylor's wedding to Mr Weston but in this version it starts with Emma's birth, which personally I loved. It made it more real to me though at first I was a little scared that it wasn't following Jane Austen's story but it was quickly forgotten once I got to admire little Emma with her sister and Miss Taylor, and, also got a glimpse of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill as little ones.
I can't even describe the music, the colors, the costumes and the visual appeal of this new Emma, it's an overload of the senses in every way and I'm absolutely smitten with it, I am counting down the minutes until the second episode starts.
I was a little skeptical at first watching Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley, not quite sure if it would work but within the first 5 minutes, I can safely say that he is now my favorite George Knightley of all time and right up there with Mr Darcy as my favorite Jane Austen male character.
Romola Garai impressed me, I love this Emma, she is very animated and bubbly and I think she portrayed the spoiled strong personality girl, extremely well......and then of course there's the chemistry between the two actors which is enough to make anyone blush.
One of the other characters in the book which are not exactly my favorite, is Mr Elton but I was drawn to him in this script, maybe because he was portrayed by Blake Riton who I adored as Edmund in Mansfield Park (2007).
Mr Elton and Emma, with Mr Knightley watching from the window. I think at this point he knew exactly what Mr Elton's intentions were, but of course Emma is completely oblivious.
The above slideshow was made by Katherine of November's Autumn and it features the new soundtrack which you can download here, or on Itunes (search for Emma Soundtrack and Samuel Sims who is the composer).
Here is the trailer:
Oh and when you're done watching the first Episode of Emma, while you wait these long hours until the next one starts, you can always spend a little more time at the Masterpiece Theatre with Dame Judi Dench in Cranford and Return to Cranford. I will talk about these two a little more on another post.
Screencap courtesy of Emma Adaptations. There are tons of wonderful images, info, reviews etc, be sure to check out the website.
And before I forget, you know what just started too? Lark Rise to Candleford Season 3 and oh my word, is it ever as good as the first two Seasons :)
Before I leave, I'm giving you a link to the Masterpiece Classic Schedule, this way you know exactly what is coming up and when. Enjoy and if you do watch these shows, won't you come back and tell me what you thought? :)