Tuesday, 4 August 2009

The new Emma adaptation, its preview

Just saw the preview of BBC’s new costume drama, Emma… It is as I thought: a blonde Emma comes across too girly and not intelligent enough, certainly in combination with a blonde Harriet. What’s more is that Jonny Lee Miller and Romola Garai do not look as if there is an age difference of about 20 years or more. She is much too old for her role and he actually too young in comparison with her. But it seems that they have the same problem essentially as with Rochester in 2006: their 40-year-olds look like 20-year-olds. On the other side, they have Mr Weston seemingly grey, although he must be about the same age as Mr Knightley (Miller’s character), because he had his only son who is then 23 and Emma is around that age too. Unless he married seriously later, which is not likely because then he would be a really old and unattractive man (i.e. not eligible) as he would be almost 60 (ancient in those days!), he must be about as old as Knightley, yet this Knightley looks 20 years younger. As a result, we don’t understand why he comes across as a little bit of a father or very much older brother for her and we certainly won’t be able to figure out why his younger (!) brother has already five children… Churchill also doesn’t look that right. Coulthard was very difficult to better in this, but still…
The other thing I noticed was body language. It seems very much (or too much) contemporary as to body language of nowadays, not of Austen’s days: ‘certainly, we must not at all show any emotion whatsoever!’ There is too much emotion going on and not enough reserve.

And the end ‘we will never be able to marry’? What is that about. I sincerely hope they did not make it sugary by the end, as it will turn out to be probably (if we can believe Jane Eyre)

Emma was toned down by Miramax to a funny Disney-like story of a poor wrong girl who gets confused, and I sincerely hope this is not going to be the case with Emma by Sandy Welch, but I expect the worst.

What I do have to say is that Mr Elton and Mrs Elton look great together. As I thought, Cole put a lot of Caroline Bingley in Mrs Elton and that is what it had to be! Great.

But let’s stay open-minded.

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