Friday, August 13, 2010

Title:  Emma
Category:  Miniseries/Book adaptation
Rating:  A+

Another amazing miniseries!

Description (from  A fiercely funny new adaptation of Jane Austen's delightful love story starring Romola Garai as a young woman whose attempts to play cupid go disastrously awry. Jonny Lee Miller stars as Mr. Knightley, and Michael Gambon as Emma's father.

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Look out, Gwyneth Paltrow.  This miniseries puts your movie to shame.  Everything about this adaptation is amazing.  A great cast, amusing dialogue, and a classic romantic plot.  And since it's a miniseries, not a movie, there's more room for character development and background.

The cast is probably the best part of the whole miniseries.  Romola Garai is exceptional in every movie/series she's ever made.  She seems to be the popular choice for period piece films.  Emma, Amazing Grace, As You Like It, Nicholas Nickleby, Daniel Deronda, Vanity Fair-- Garai shines in every one of these films, even when she only has a small role.  Her portrayal of Emma is her best performace yet.  And her costar and love interest, Johnny Lee Miller, is also brilliant as Mr. Knightley.  I loved him as Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park, but as Mr. Knightley, Miller excels.  He provides Austen's hero with a lot of warmth, making him seem less stuffy and more human.

The rest of the characters are amazing too.  What makes them so great is that they aren't irritating at all.  In the 1996 Emma movie, Miss Bates, Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, and Harriet Smith are all extremely annoying, but in this miniseries, I liked every single one of them.  I think it's mostly because, in the movie, they only had enough time to scratch the surface of these characters.  So they seemed superficial and over-exaggerated.  Because this was a miniseries, and there was more time for character development, everyone had more depth and emotion and personality.  They weren't just caricatures of themselves.

I love Austen, and her story of finding love when you're not looking for it is timeless.  This is definitely the best adaptation of Emma I have ever seen.  A+

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