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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Emma Comparisons: Part 3

Knightley Fightley


1996

Miss Woodhouse:   I liked the setting of the argument.  One Jane Austen book said that it was reminiscent of the old Greer Garson Pride and Prejudice where Darcy tries to teach her how to shoot an arrow, while they exchange barbed words.  The argument used lots of quotes from the book.
Melody:   The scene where Mr. Knightley and Emma argue about Harriet and Robert Martin is a key scene in the story. It shows a lot about both characters, while being quite funny at the same time. 1996 did not quite get it, though it was funny, it just… Emma was too prim and composed or something, and Mr. Knightley seemed more irritated at Emma in general than actually being upset for Robert and Harriet. And the archery thing… I’m not a fan of archery in Regency films. Seems to belong better in Victorian. I realize that it’s supposed to have significance since Emma plays matchmaker (or ‘cupid’), but that annoys me too, and I won’t go rambling off onto a rabbit trail if I can help it.
Miss Elizabeth:  It was interesting to see Emma and Mr. Knightley doing archery during their fight. I've noticed that whenever Emma made a point, she aimed very badly, but Mr. Knightley did quite well (well, because let's face it, he was right). However, for Gwyneth Paltrow during that scene, it seemed like she was just saying the lines.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  This time, the Knightley Fightley was indoors, like the book said.  Emma goes around busily putting flowers into vases while Mr Knightley follws her around and tries to make her see sense.
Melody:   I. Love. This. Scene. It’s… brilliant. It’s perfect (or would be, if the quotes matched the book just a tad more). It’s lively. It is SO Emma and Mr. Knightley (at the beginning of the story). Not to mention it’s very quotable. I won’t list all the reasons why I like it, because that would just be way too long…
Miss Elizabeth:  Compared to the 1996 fight, this is a much longer scene. Because the scene is longer, we get to fully understand why Emma and Mr. Knightley think the way they do. Both Emma and Mr. Knightley expressed their emotions well throughout the scene.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  They are both pretty much the same, but I tend toward the 2009 adaption.  It's more true to the book.
Melody:  2009, all the way. Though the “Try not to kill my dogs” line WAS funny, I’ll concede. (And I will refrain from mentioning that Jane Austen does not actually need to have other witticisms added to her dialogue…)
Miss Elizabeth:  2009. Since there was more time devoted to the fight, anyone could understand what Emma and Mr. Knightley are thinking as they are laying out their points during the fight.

Mr Elton's Proposal


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  I don't really remember anything out of the ordinary in this scene.  It was pretty much like the book.
Melody:  It’s good. Very well done, indeed.
Miss Elizabeth:  This was a very quick scene and seemed pretty rushed. One second, Emma and Mr. Elton are getting in the carriage, and the next, Mr. Elton is proposing! Plus, there was too much movement in the carriage: Emma and Mr. Elton kept switching seats, which was a little bit much. Plus Emma was shouting too much!



2009


Miss Woodhouse:  Ditto the 1996 proposal except Emma's facial expressions are hilarious.
Melody:   This scene is marvelous. I love it. Emma’s facial expressions—amazing. Mr Elton’s scornfulness—haha. Wow.
Miss Elizabeth:  This proposal was much more well paced. It was a longer scene and didn't feel rushed. The acting was believable (Emma didn't have to shout all the time).

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  They are about the same but once again I'll choose the '09 adaption for the sake of Emma's expressions.
Melody:  Hmm, well, the scripts for that scene were both very good and accurate to the book, but I prefer the acting of Romola Garai and Blake Ritson in 2009.
Miss Elizabeth:  2009 -- it wasn't rushed and it was better acted.

Emma and Harriet's Friendship 


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  This portrayal of the Emma/Harriet friendship was true to the book.  Emma and Harriet were friends, but Emma was obviously superior to Harriet.
Melody:  Hmm… there is something wanting. I might like the portrayal better if I liked this Harriet better. In general, Emma’s whole matchmaking bit in this version was a bit too… artificial or something. It’s hard to describe, but neither of these characters seemed as true to the ones in the book, therefore their friendship didn’t, either.
Miss Elizabeth:  Harriet's and Emma's relationship is much more formal than very good friends. I suppose it's because Emma is higher up in class than Harriet, but Emma still seemed a little cold at times. She also came off as snooty when her and Harriet were together.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  Emma and Harriet's friendship is portrayed differently, but, I believe it is still correct.  Emma and Harriet have a one on one basis for all their little chats and I believe that the director correctly showed the friendship between two young girls.
Melody:  I very much liked Emma and Harriet’s friendship in this one. I can’t really think of much more to say about it without turning this into an essay… and I’m not particularly fond of writing essays, anyway.
Miss Elizabeth:  Harriet and Emma are more like friends in this version than the other version. They meet each other much more informally than the 1996 version... Like friends would greet each other.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  It's very hard to choose one since they're both so good but I think Emma 1996 is the best.
Melody:  Romola Garai and Louise Dylan from 2009. (Heh, I haven’t chosen any from 1996 yet, have I? I knew how it would be…)
Miss Elizabeth:  Definitely the 2009 version -- their friendship seemed more like a friendship than the 1996 version.

Emma/Knightley Dance


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  I watched this on Youtube to refresh my memory and I didn't notice anything spectacular.  The music is the same as the Lizzy/Darcy dance in Pride and Prejudice 1995.  They did leave in the 'Brother and sister' line which the 2009 version took out. 
Melody:  Aww. It was sweet. I liked that they included the “brother and sister” bit, even though it wasn’t quite like the book. It only showed the beginning of the dance, though, which was a little sad. Trivia: this dance is a version of Mr. Beveridge’s Maggot (that is the name of the dance—I know it sounds weird, but that’s what it’s called), which amuses me because that’s also what was used for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s dance in Pride and Prejudice (1995).
Miss Elizabeth:  The plus for this scene in this version is the brother/sister line, which Emma 2009 left out. The actual dance shows everyone on the dance floor dancing. We see Emma and Mr. Knightley dancing, but they are not the main focus in this scene.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  Utterly magical.  The music, the dancing, everything.  One blogger said that the dancing looked too choreographed and it does at first but then when the camera gets closer on Emma and Mr Knightley, you forget all that.
Melody:  Do not speak to me of this dance unless you wish me to go on all day! Seriously, I think this is my favorite scene in any Jane Austen adaptation. It’s sooooo lovely, sweet, romantic, and just beautiful. I’ve seen some people complain that you know Mr. Knightley and Emma will end up together from watching this scene—but, um, if you haven’t already guessed that by this point in the story… haha. Anyways. It’s so perfectly Mr. Knightley, and so perfectly Emma, and the song—I didn’t mention the song yet, did I? I LOVE THAT SONG. And the dance itself is so delicate and lovely. And it’s just such a happy scene in general… it always leaves me feeling happy inside, and I either sigh or giggle in a very silly fashion when it is over. I can’t help it. Sometimes I do both. You see, if I catch a sigh escaping me it generally makes me giggle—and if I try to repress the sigh, that makes me giggle too. And now I am chattering on quite nonsensically. But while thinking of this marvelous scene, I suppose nothing can be done in a rational manner.
Miss Elizabeth:  What? How could you take out the brother/sister line? Everyone who has read Emma knows that line! But even with the omission of that line, the scene was still very sweet. We get to see close up (literally) of Emma and Mr. Knightley dancing, which I think shows their developing feelings for each other.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Emma 2009.  It is the most romantic dance I've ever seen.
Melody:  Ha, I think there’s hardly any comparison here. Especially since the 1996 version doesn’t show the whole dance. Anyways, 2009. INDUBITABLY. One of the best scenes in the movie (and there are so many good ones!); bravo to BBC, I say. They understand. Oh, but I do have one complaint to make. They didn’t include the brother-and-sister-no-indeed quote. ERRMMM. That’s one of my favorite parts in Emma!
Miss Elizabeth:  2009. Sure, they took out the brother/sister line, but I like how we get to see Emma's and Mr. Knightley's relationship develop.

Badly Done Indeed!


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  Jeremy Northam did an excellent job with the Badly Done scene.  Whatever his other faults in his playing Mr Knightley he really nailed this scene.  Gwenyth also did a great job.
Melody:  This is such a touching scene in the book, and I think this movie actually got it pretty well. I liked Mr. Knightley’s manner—he seemed to be admonishing Emma very sensitively, and not yelling or getting angry. It was his most heartfelt way as well as what influenced Emma the most, and made her fully realize how she had been wrong, rather than just being annoyed that Mr. Knightley was scolding her.
Miss Elizabeth:  I'm sorry, but Mr. Knightley was too kind to Emma at the end of the scene. At the end of this scene after reprimanding her, Mr. Knightley tells Emma that he told her all that he told her because he cares for her. That did not happen in the book: if it did, Emma would have been a little more confident in Mr. Knightley being in love with her.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  Very good but it didn't feel the same as the '96 adaption.
Melody:  This one was well done, too. However, it did not match the book as well as I would have liked. For one thing, Emma did not turn away from Mr. Knightley—in the book when she did that, you know, he could not see her face, and therefore had no idea what her emotions were. And, he was a bit too yell-ish. He was upset at what had happened, yes, and disappointed in Emma; but he was rather more tender in the book.
Miss Elizabeth:  In the 2009 scene, you can tell how much Emma angered Mr. Knightley. Sure, maybe Mr. Knightley shouted a little more than what I pictured in the book, but nevertheless, this scene was well acted.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  The 1996 adaption.  For some reason it was much better than the '09 adaption.
Melody:  Well, neither one was like the book enough to quite satisfy me—when Emma gets into the carriage and it starts driving away, and then she wants to turn back and make Mr. Knightley understand how truly sorry she is, but it’s too late—that part is so moving in the book, and it’s not in either of the movies. Anyways, I’m actually going to have to give it to 1996 this time. Are you shocked? 2009 did a pretty good job with Emma, but Mr. Knightley wasn’t quite what I liked to see in that scene.
Miss Elizabeth:  2009. I still can't get over Mr. Knightley telling Emma why he told her all that at the end of the 1996 scene.

Proposal


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  It was sweet but they left out the 'If I loved you less' line!  It does have some romantic lines and a kiss at the end, but...well...
Melody:  It was quite sweet and romantic. Actually, it was a little too sweet and romantic, and made me burst out laughing a couple times—especially if I was watching it with someone else. Anyways, it wasn’t close enough to the book, though. Chapter 49 of Emma is my favorite chapter in any Jane Austen novel, and does NOT need changing. (Or, to quote a dear friend of mine who has a real talent with the caps-lock, “THEY SLAUGHTERED CHAPTAH FORTY-NINE. GRRRRRRRR.” Heehee.)
Miss Elizabeth:  There are some differences from the book with this proposal, such as Emma frequently changing the subject during Mr. Knightley's proposal. It's a bit mushy, so if you're like me and don't like mushy romantic scenes, be warned :-P

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  *Sniff*  This was the only Emma proposal scene that brought on an attack of gushy fangirl tears (or any tears for that matter) - Emma's realizing that Mr Knightley loves her, he realizing that she loves him, their little chat at the end...perfection.
Melody:  Awww. I LOVE this scene. It cannot boast being word-for-word identical to the book, but it is close enough so that I am satisfied. Emma and Mr. Knightley just act so perfectly in this scene… it’s amazing. Especially Mr. Knightley. The proposal scene in Emma is just amazing in general, partly because Jane Austen sets it up so well, with Mr. Knightley thinking Emma has been disappointed in her (supposed) love for Frank, and Emma thinking that Mr. Knightley cares for Harriet…it’s delightful.  
Miss Elizabeth:  This proposal scene is closer to the book. I felt that everything was more explained in this version of the proposal, like how badly Frank Churchill used Emma. And, it's not too mushy!

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Team 2009! (again)
Melody:  2009. It really gets the feel that the book has, and is just so sweet without being…well…silly-cheesy. It’s realistically sweet, as it were.
Miss Elizabeth:  I much prefer the 2009 scene. It's sweet and not too mushy

Ending


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  I'm usually a sucker for period dramas that end in weddings (Sense and Sensibility 1995, Little Dorrit, Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice 1995) but this one missed the mark for me.  I mean, the ending was fine, but not exactly how I would like.  Call me picky if you want.  I did like that they included the Mrs Elton quote "Shocking lack of lace veils, etc"
Melody:  I love movies that end in weddings, and when it’s a Jane Austen movie ending in a wedding, well, not many things can be more perfect than that. Althoooough… they kiss in front of everyone, and That Did Not Happen back then. It would have been Highly Inappropriate. Anyways, it was a good ending for the movie, and had a happy feeling, etc., etc.
Miss Elizabeth:  This version of Emma ends with the wedding of Mr. Knightley and Emma and Mrs. Elton remarks on the lack of satin at the wedding. It was a nice ending overall.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  Breathtaking, moving, wonderful.  I loved the conversation that Emma and her father have, John's remarks as the carriage drives away, Emma's seaside surprise, and their heartfelt contentment as they stand, looking over the ocean.  Did you notice that the music for that scene is "The Last Dance"?
Melody:  As much as I love it when the movies end in weddings, I think this one made up for not ending in a wedding. It is gorgeous. There is no feeling like the one I have when I finish this movie, and it’s just the perfect ending. The song playing is similar to The Last Dance, but it’s a variation so suitable for the ending, and adds a great deal to the loveliness. Mr. Knightley and Emma go riding off in the carriage, and he’s holding her hand…awww…and then he takes her to the seaside for their honeymoon, somewhere she has always wanted to go, as a surprise. It ends with them standing looking out over the ocean and… sighhhhhhh. (This movie makes me quite nonsensical and fangirl-ish, you know, which is, in fact, not generally my way.)
Miss Elizabeth:  The wedding is skipped over and the audience is to assume that Emma and Mr. Knightley got married since they are setting off for their honeymoon. The place that Mr. Knightley takes Emma to is the seaside which Emma never seen before. It is a very sweet ending, though the seaside isn't mentioned in the book.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  I like The Wedding and The Seaside, but The Seaside wins.  Indubitably. 
Melody:  2009. Again. Well, I’m not trying to be boring…
Miss Elizabeth:  Even though they skipped the wedding, I still prefer the 2009 scene.

Yours truly,



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Miss Woodhouse, actually the music in Emma 2009 ending is called The Seaside , it's a variation of The Last Dance.

Miss Woodhouse said...

I meant to say a variation of The Last Dance :)

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