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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Emma Comparisons: Part 2

The Knightley Family


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  I hardly saw anything of the Knightley family in this version.
Melody:  *thinks* Ummmm… I can’t remember them. Oh, oh, wait, I just remembered John Knightley. Slightly. There, will that do?
Miss Elizabeth:  There are the Knightleys... and now they're gone? They were so briefly in the movie that if you didn't know they were there, you could have easily missed them (or simply not know who they were... or not remember them over to the next scene).

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  A nice picture of family life.  I liked the little glimpses of their life in London and Isabella's reaction over the startling (but wonderful!) news that Mr Knightley and Emma are engaged.
Melody:  They were delightful. I like how you could clearly tell who John Knightley was in this version—sometimes I got him confused in others and was like “wait… who is he?” There was just more of him, too. And I liked Isabella, though I did think she seemed a bit old for the part. I loved seeing the children outside with the Knightley brothers, having a snowball fight on Christmas… and it was nice to see Emma interact with the children a bit, because she certainly does in the book.
Miss Elizabeth:  There is much more of a chance to get to know the Knightleys in this version. We see that John is a little more ill-humored than Mr. Knightley and that Isabella has grown a little older since raising her children. We see that John Knightley doesn't get along all that well with his father-in-law. Plus we see the Knightleys more than once!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  The 2009 family all the way.
Melody:  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on this one. (Oh, fine, I’ll tell you. 2009.)
Miss Elizabeth:  2009 Knightley Family. We simply get to know them more.

Frank Churchill


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  Ackkk!  This Frank Churchill...ughhhh.  BTW, I saw Ewan Macgregor in Miss Potter, and he was much better than in Emma.  His hair is the worst thing about him.
Melody:  This Frank’s main problem was his hair. It was… interesting. He was quite amusing, and not too likable (that’s good, because I don’t like Frank to be likable, because I don’t like Frank, and the more I know him the more I dislike him), but… I don’t know. He wasn’t quite the thing. Too artificial—I mean, Frank is supposed to not be for reals, but nobody was supposed to be able to tell. ;-)
Miss Elizabeth:  I'm being a bit petty here, but I hate Ewan McGregor's hair in Emma! Even after he gets a haircut, it still looks awful! It was too long! But I thought that he was overall annoying as Frank Churchill. [Note from Miss Woodhouse:  In Emma 1996, Frank did not get his hair cut]

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  This Frank Churchill actually looked as though you could trust him.  He did behave scandulously at Box Hill (putting his head in Emma's lap?  Seriously?) but I liked that little dance that he and Jane did in the town square.
Melody:  This Frank was pretty good. Seemed a tad too old to be three-and-twenty (especially since I’ve seen the actor younger on North & South), but all and all I thought his portrayal was quite good. Didn’t like the bit on Box Hill, though, with him putting his head in Emma’s lap? Um, that would not have been appropriate nor acceptable back then. But that was the movie’s fault, not the actor’s, I suppose.
Miss Elizabeth:  Rupert Evans's hair was much better and not as annoying as Ewan McGregor (though he was still annoying like Frank Churchill should be). 

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Frank Churchill from Emma 2009 is my choice.
Melody:  Rupert Evans from 2009. Sometimes I felt like strangling him, which is good, but he is sort of likable (especially if you don’t know what’s behind everything) and you see in the end that his intentions weren’t villainous exactly—just selfish.
Miss Elizabeth:  Rupert Evans's as Frank Churchill... Much better hair ;-P

Jane Fairfax


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  All I can say was that Jane is extremely flat and dull in this adaption.  Nothing for, nothing against really.
Melody:  I wasn’t very impressed with this Jane. She wasn’t too bad, but she seemed too… old, or something. And I don’t think Jane should be petite, but this actress was… un-petite. Haha.
Miss Elizabeth:  It's interesting to see that both of the 90s Jane Fairfaxes are very similar. Both have deeper voices and very similar hairstyles. As for Polly Walker's Jane, I don't have much complaints about her acting, but the fact that she is so similar to Olivia Williams's Jane Fairfax in the 1997 Emma (keep in mind, I saw the 1997 version first) doesn't add any points for her.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:   This Jane was an improvement, but not by much.  She's too mousey.  Her voice is slightly squeaky and high pitched and she's diminutive with brown hair.
Melody:  I actually wasn’t satisfied with this Jane either. She did not seem “elegant” as in the book, she seemed too… little and mousy or something, and her voice was my main problem. Especially since she didn’t appear to really talk in that high bordering on a screechy sort of soft way in the behind-the-scenes thing.
Miss Elizabeth:  This Jane Fairfax was much different from the others that I've seen. Instead of having a deeper voice , this Jane Fairfax had a higher voice. I wasn't very fond of the deep voices of the other Jane Fairfax and it was refreshing to see another interpretation of Jane Fairfax.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  My favorite Jane is actually Olivia Williams (1997) but I'd go with Laura Pyper's Jane.  At least she has some depth to her.
Melody:  Though she wasn’t quite the right Jane Fairfax, I did prefer Laura Pyper (2009) to Polly Walker (1997). The character portrayal was just better. For the record, though, my favorite is Olivia Williams in the 1997 A&E version. Can’t help sticking that in.
Miss Elizabeth:  Laura Pyper (2009) Jane Fairfax since she is unique from the other Jane Fairfaxes that I've seen.

Mr and Mrs Elton


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  Mr Elton was a doofus in this adaption.  That's all I can say.  He does have some funny lines though.  However, his wife more than makes up for him even though she may not be as accurate to the book as other Mrs Eltons.
Melody:  I liked them well enough. Mr. Elton I thought was a bit too funny-looking to be “handsome,” but he did a tolerable acting job (albeit a little silly-acting). Mrs. Elton was quite funny. “But my friends tell me…”
Miss Elizabeth:  Alan Cumming's Mr. Elton was good; I thought it was an accurate portrayal of Mr. Elton. Juliet Stevenson's Mrs. Elton was vulgar (in that she wasn't classy), but I felt that she was too quiet to be Mrs. Elton.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  Mr Elton is much better in this adaption.  He's handsome, quite witty, and charming.  I can see why all the girls at Mr Goddard's school are in a flutter over him.  Mrs Elton was also good, but I still like Mrs Elton from the '96 adaption better.
Melody:  Mr. Elton was very good in this one—just a TAD too…er…slimy for my taste, but all-in-all I think he was right on, and added just the right amount of—shall we say—character interpretation, that really brings Jane Austen’s characters to life. Mrs. Elton, I must say, was perfection. For Mrs. Elton, that is. She really caught the way Mrs. Elton is supposed to be—patronizing, thinking she’s cleverer than she actually is, thinking herself is very important and wonderful and that everyone else must think so too… thinking she is always right… and I’ll stop before I make this all about how annoying Mrs. Elton is. Oh, and she also looked like the young, pretty Mrs. Elton of the book should.
Miss Elizabeth:  Blake Ritson's Mr. Elton was a bit greasy... but I didn't say that it didn't work for him. He portrays Mr. Elton's pompous personality well. Christina Cole's Mrs. Elton was very good: nice and loud (okay, she wasn't nice, but you get what I mean)! My only issue with her Mrs. Elton was that I pictured Mrs. Elton to be a little older (maybe in her 30s)... But I don't believe that Jane Austen mentions how old Mrs. Elton is, so it's possible that she wasn't very old.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Another blend!  Mrs Elton definitely in the '96 adaption and Mr Elton from Emma 2009.
Melody:  Blake Ritson and Christina Cole from 2009.
Miss Elizabeth:  Blake Ritson and Christina Cole's Mr. and Mrs. Elton in the 2009 version. They both did a very good job together.

Yours truly,



1 comment:

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Uggh! My mistake! I thought he did get a hair cut. Well, he probably needed it the most out of the three Frank Churchills! ;-)

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