Monday, March 24, 2008


Emma was on PBS's Masterpiece Theater last night, and I hate to say it, but I think I liked Hollywood's version better.

MPT's Kate Beckinsale, although very hot as a vampress in the Underworld movies when she's fighting werewolves, doesn't have the same beauty in this period clothing - Gwyneth Paltrow seemed born to where them. Also, Gywennie made a much happier Emma - Kate's seemed meaner. To those of you who haven't read/watched (and let's face it, you're probably not reading this post anyway) this may seem like a negligible detail. But whether or not you enjoy Emma hinges on if you think she is kind but misguided, or if you think she's just snotty and cruel.

Hollywood's Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley made it very understandable how this much younger woman could fall in love with him. In addition, Hollywood's Emma spent much more time showing their friendship, and not just Mr. Knightley being angry at Emma. In MPT's Emma, I found myself wondering why she didn't lash out at him, and it was much harder to believe that she really loved him. The dude was always angry. I didn't get that impression of him from the actual novel. Even argumentative is not the same thing as yelling all the time.

Plus, I couldn't get over the feeling that Mark Strong (MP's Knightley) looked like a Muppet. Maybe it was just me.

Both movies were faithful (mostly, of course) to the book, although they seemed to emphasize different plot lines. Hollywood focused on Knightley and Emma's friendship, and MPT spent more time illustrating the Frank Weston/Jane Fairfax/ Emma love triangle. If you could combine these scripts, you'd have all the Emma any fan could ask for.

Next week: Sense & Sensibility, with no time for me to watch the Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet "Hollywood" version. Oh, how I suffer.


Ruth said...

tim and i actually caught the middle of this last night, and i was trying really hard to remember the plotline of clueless so i could keep up with the characters.

too bad you can't watch sense and sensibility! that is scotty stine's favorite movie (the hollywood one with keira knightly).

hoppy easter monday!

Aaron said...

I was going to make a clueless joke, but Ruth beats me to the punch. I like Paul "I'm writing in my gernal" Rudd.

Lyz said...

I need to rewatch "clueless", also. It's on my list.

Scott Stine must like "Pride & Prejudice" with Kiera Knightly, cause I don't think she's ever been in "Sense & Sensibility". Easy mistake for an Austen newbie.:)

BTW - he should see the MPT version with Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth. So. Much. Better.

Noel said...

An you forgot to mention the best thing of all: Prairie Publics pledge drive is over so we can go back towatching our favorite shows at their normal times!