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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Emma Comparisons: Part 4

Scenery


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  Nothing much to say about the scenery except that the archery scene was nice.
Melody:  Scenery. Hmm. Not something I usually take much notice of, unless it is unusual in some way, and I do not think this was.
Miss Elizabeth:  There is very nice scenery in this version of Emma. The colors are bright and nice to look at.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  The Seaside.  Need I say more?  Well I don't but I will.  The scenery is lovely.  There I've said it.
Melody:  The scenery in this one was more memorable, I think. Box Hill was very good, and I just liked the colorfulness and brightness of the scenery.
Miss Elizabeth:  Like the 1996 Emma, the scenery is very nice. The colors are also bright and nice to look at, but I think the picture quality in this version is better.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  I'm beginning to think [for me] these preferences are pointless.  Almost everything from Emma 2009 is my favorite and this is no exception.
Melody:  2009. It was more interesting.
Miss Elizabeth:  2009 Scenery. Since it is a more recent adaptation, the picture quality would be better than an adaptation that is 13 years older.

Costumes


1996

Miss Woodhouse:  Emma's costumes are very flimsy and shall I say, boring?  There wasn't really anything special about them and her shoes were definitely not Regency.  I actually liked Mrs Elton's dresses but the other characters were only so-so.
Melody:  Well… they were okay. Some of them were rather too modern though, and just not very impressive in general. And if hair is included in costumes, I did not like Emma’s hair most of the time. The skinned rat look isn’t really my style. ;-)
Miss Elizabeth:  The costumes in this Emma are great to look at. I did notice that the waist line on some of the gowns looked a little low for the era, but other than that, the costumes looked fairly accurate. Though I wasn't too fond of a mob cap that Harriet wore during one scene: mob caps were worn by spinsters or married women, so Harriet wearing one wouldn't make any sense. I wasn't too fond of most of the hairstyles in this version of Emma.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  These costumes have a 'lived in' appearance.  They don't look perfect and pressed with no wrinkles or anything like that.  They look like real dresses that Jane Austen could have worn.  I love Emma's turquoise dress!
Melody:  LOVED the costumes in this one. Of course, I didn’t love all of them, but a great deal; several of the dresses I would want to wear myself, which is high praise indeed. They were aiming for more colorful and bright than most period films, but nothing really struck me as historically inaccurate, so it’s okay. Besides, it just goes with the movie. Also, there were not as many low necklines as in a lot of Jane Austen films. I’m not saying there weren’t any…but there weren’t as many as, say, Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Miss Elizabeth:  The costumes in this Emma are different than other Regency era movies, but I don't have much of a reason to think that they are grossly inaccurate. Emma wears a lot of jumpers and long sleeved undershirts in this adaptation of Emma. Some of the hairstyles in this Emma I didn't care for, but they were better than the 1996 Emma

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Emma 2009.  The costumes look more natural.
Melody:  2009, any day.
Miss Elizabeth:  2009. Both the gowns and hairstyles were better in the 2009 version.

Music

1996


Courtesy of Miss Laurie

Miss Woodhouse:  The music for this adaption is bouncy and lighthearted.  It follows the same theme throughout, only producing small variations but I like continuation like that.  My favorites are 'Mr Elton's Rejection', 'Main Titles' and 'Proposal' but I love them all.
Melody:  The soundtrack was nice. I don’t really think it was Rachel Portman (the composer) at her best—I prefer Nicholas Nickleby or Miss Potter (even though she wasn’t the main composer of that one). It seems a little too repetitive to me, like it’s just two or three songs with several variations. Well, one could say that about the 2009 soundtrack too… but for some reason the 1996 version just seems more that way. The variations were less varied, I guess… heeh
Miss Elizabeth:  The music for this version was good! It was very upbeat and nice to listen to. Some songs were slower moving, but others were faster. There are only a couple of dance songs: the song that plays when Mr. Elton snubs Harriet has to be my favorite. 

2009








Courtesy of Miss Laurie

Miss Woodhouse:  Another big hit with me!  It doesn't follow one theme as much as Emma 1996 does, but enough to bind the music together.  My favorites are 'The Last Dance', 'Clifftops', and 'Most Ardently In Love'.
Melody:   I think this is a lovely soundtrack. The main titles are so happy and bright and joyful. It sounds simply like a soundtrack and not like something fitting to the time period, but that’s how most of them are. Anyways, a good word for the music might be ‘refreshing’—something nice to listen to if you need to be cheered up, or to match a cheerful mood if you already have one. And ‘The Last Dance’ is gorgeous (as is ‘The Seaside,’ which is similar).
Miss Elizabeth:  Love, love, love this soundtrack! A lot of the songs are catchy and great to listen to! There are more serious songs in this version than the 1996 version, but they are balanced out with songs that are sweet.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  They are both lovely, but I prefer Emma 2009.
Melody:  2009. (Are you perhaps rolling your eyes and calling me monotonous?) I do like the 1996 soundtrack well enough, but somehow I don’t find it as enjoyable as 2009.
Miss Elizabeth:  It's a very close call... But 2009.

Accuracy to the book

1996

Miss Woodhouse:  This film felt very rushed for time.  It slowed down near the end somewhat which was good.  It combines the strawberries and Box Hill together but overall it does quite well bringing into account that they only had two hours to fit the whole story in.
Melody:  Heh. Well, they didn’t really change the story line to speak of—but in general it was not very accurate to the book. It seemed like it was trying to be more appealing to modern audiences—that is, the Austenism has been, in part, extracted. It’s a bright romantic comedy, but it does not have the Jane Austen feel. That is my opinion.
Miss Elizabeth:  I guess the 1996 version didn't vary too much from the book, but I did feel like it went through the story too fast. All the scenes seemed to really breeze by and then all of a sudden it was over. I felt like you didn't get enough time to absorb the story.

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  While Emma 2009 didn't use as many quotes from the book as I would have liked, it followed the events in the book very well and also kept the light-hearted tone of the book.
Melody:  I’m not saying this version matches the book perfectly—but I think it’s reeeeeally good. For one thing, it’s a mini-series. It is four hours long. This is a good thing—it means we get the whole story. Every Jane Austen adaptation should have the whole story. Plus, it just gets the feeling of Emma.
Miss Elizabeth:  The 2009 version was close to the book. Though some of the dialogue wasn't directly quoted from Jane Austen, it still sounded like it was from her. And with four hours to tell the entire story, the story didn't go by too fast and you really get to understand the characters.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Usually a miniseries is better than a feature film and this is no exception.  Emma 2009 follows the book better (naturally) and keeps more true to the tone.
Melody:  Guess what? 2009. Yes, again.
Miss Elizabeth:  2009.

Overall

1996

Miss Woodhouse:  This version of Emma was lighthearted with just enough comedy and romance.
Melody:  I like this movie, when I’m in the right mood. It’s fun, it’s funny, and I do like having multiple adaptations of the same book to watch. It doesn’t do anything to disgrace the name of Jane Austen, fortunately, but it doesn’t really represent her very well, either.
Miss Elizabeth:   This is still a good version of Emma (even though my criticisms were a bit harsh at times) and it is a good version to watch if you want the overall gist of Emma, but it does have it's faults. The main problem is that it is too rushed so many of the scenes feel rushed(course I could also be spoiled from the 2009 version being four hours long).

2009

Miss Woodhouse:  The best adaption of Emma!  It gave me a new appreciation for the book (and especially Mr Knightley!)
Melody:  I LOVE this movie. I like it ALMOST as well as P&P 1995, which is my favorite Jane Austen movie, and probably my favorite movie of all time (Miss Woodhouse, pray do not kill me). It is simply delightful. Well-acted, well written, nicely filmed, everything is lovely, and BBC, will you please impress me again and make a good adaptation of Mansfield Park now? Thank you. Much obliged.
Miss Elizabeth:  This is THE Emma. It is very well acted and casted and it had four hours to tell the story fully. We also get a good sense of each of the characters. Sure, some of the body language can be a little modern, but it's such a small issue that it almost doesn't matter.

Preference

Miss Woodhouse:  Emma 2009.  Were you surprised?
Melody:  2009. The first time I saw this when it played on TV back in early 2010, I wasn’t so sure about it. Then I watched it a second time. And a third. And a fourth. And each time I saw it, the more I loved it. Now I have seen it… heh… shall I tell you? Eleven times, and counting. Anyways, it seems to be a common thing to not like this version as well until you’ve seen it twice or more. (Especially if you’ve never read the book before.) So if you’ve only seen it once and don’t understand why it’s so wonderful… well, you may still have a chance to find out. And if you’ve never seen it, see it! Especially if you consider yourself a Jane Austen fan… it is simply a requirement.
Miss Elizabeth:  The Emma that I prefer is the 2009 version. It was better acted, had more time to tell the story fully, and had better cast members. I still like the 1996 version, but it's not as good as the 2009 version.

Yours truly,


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