08 July 2007

Emma (starring Kate Beckinsale)

Of all the Jane Austen novels, my least favourite is 'Emma'. However, I have realised that some classic novels come to life in film or TV form, and so have started collecting some of them on DVD.

There seem to have been several versions of 'Emma' made, but the most highly rated one was the ITV production made in 1996, starring Kate Beckinsale.

The story is about Emma's inveterate match-making, which leads to misunderstandings and embarrassment amongst her friends. She is quite cold-hearted, or so it seems, caring more about her own success as a match-maker than the feelings of her supposed friends. She's a very clever creation by Austen; it's not easy reading a novel where one really doesn't like the main character, and it's a tribute to her writing and imagination that the book is so popular. I don't much like it because so little seems to happen, and because Emma is, basically, quite annoying.

However, I did very much enjoy this made-for-TV adaptation. I found that I could get more into Emma's skin by watching the settings and situations that arose than I could in the book, which is often decidedly long-winded. Kate Beckinsale does an excellent job, showing Emma to be rather more human than the book implies, and the story flowed well.

Enjoyable, and recommended. My husband, who has not read the book, thought it well-made and liked the film too.

Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews

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