Everything Austen: Emma (movie) (mini-review)

24 Sep

EmmaI recently watched the 1996 movie version of Jane Austen’s Emma, featuring Gwynneth Paltrow.

I had three reasons for doing this now.  This first is that I like the book and this movie, and it sounded like a fun way to spend the evening.   The second was curiosity as to whether my 11 year old daughter would enjoy it. The third was to fill this month’s Everything Austen challenge slot.

I’d seen this movie several times before, and I knew I like it. I settled right into watching it, and frankly, I didn’t feel like being critical (hence the mini-review).

I find this movie true to the spirit of the book.  It makes changes as necessary to translate into a decent movie.  I like all of the casting, from Mr. Knightly (yum), to Mr. Woodhouse and Miss Bates (very funny) to Emma herself– far from perfect, but just appealing enough to have me rooting for her.

My daughter attempted to watch the 1970s BBC production with me, but just couldn’t quite hang in there.  She did stick around for all 2 hours of this one, losing track of the characters at times.  I don’t think it is going to become a favorite any time soon, but she’s still interested in watching Sense and Sensibility and maybe in reading one of the books.  I don’t see a hurry on those, but I certainly won’t stop her.

everythingausten3Me?  I’ve heard good things about the more recent BBC production, and so I may add a 3rd movie version of Emma to my challenge list. 🙂

I’ve now completed 3 of the 6 things I need to complete the Everything Austen challenge at Stephanie’s Written Word.    The deadline is the end of the year, so I’m still on track.  There are so many books I’d like to read and movies I’d like to watch, I may keep this as a regular event– one Austen a month!


Posted by on September 24, 2009 in challenge, movie, Uncategorized


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6 responses to “Everything Austen: Emma (movie) (mini-review)

  1. Susan @ Reading Upside Down

    September 25, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I saw this movie when it was first out at the cinema, but haven’t seen it since. I remember it being pleasant, but must confess that it hasn’t really stuck with me. I probably would choose it as the way to introduce a teen/pre-teen to the movie, rather than the more dated versions.

    I do enjoying it more than Sense & Sensibility, where I was distracted constantly by how uncomfortable Hugh Grant looked in his period clothing. Kate Winslett was a shining light in that version though.

    I didn’t realise that there was a BBC version on the way. BBC of P&P by far the best, so that is definitely something to look out for.

  2. Yondalla

    September 25, 2009 at 7:04 am

    I’ve always thought the movie Clueless did a particularly good job of catching things about Emma that the traditional movies didn’t. So often Austin books become nothing more than interesting romances. The satire of manners tends to be lost. It is there in Clueless though. I recommend it.

  3. April

    September 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

    You know, I have not seen nor have I read this one yet. I need to get in gear, lol!

  4. etirv

    September 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    The movie Emma made me a Gwyneth Paltrow fan!

  5. Audrey

    September 28, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Isn’t Jane Austen just amazing? ::sigh::

  6. Delia

    October 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I saw Paltrow’s Emma when it was in the theater and I loved it. After having seen the BBC productions of Jane Austen’s works that PBS aired earlier this year and reading the Austen novels, I went back and watched it again. I have to say that I was so disappointed with it this time around, I couldn’t believe I had ever liked it. I didn’t find the story at all in the spirit of the book. Watch the BBC version with Kate Beckinsale. She is brilliant and the script follows the book to the letter.


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