Emma

A Worthy Production Crippled

I have seen this version of Emma at least 3 times, and on this viewing, bumped my rating up 2 stars. The casting of Doran Goodwin is still a major sticking point. Though she gives Emma more complexity and is the truest to Jane Austen’s portrayal, her older looks, pasty complexion, and lack of charm, fight with the positive. She is not helped by an unfortunate choice of hairstyle: severely scraped back to an inch of it’s life with tight ringlets pulled out and sometimes glued against her forehead. Ugh. The other main problem I have with this production is two poorly done major scenes. The picnic on Box Hill is a waste. Practically meaningless with several important characters missing in action, it has none of the drama or importance in character development of any of the recent remakes. The second scene is Emma and Mr. Knightley’s conversation after Mr. Knightley rescues poor Harriet from Mr. Elton’s rudeness. It is crucial in the relationship building between Emma and Mr. Knightly in all of the other remakes. It is almost meaningless in this one due to the direction the actors were given. The ending is way too drawn out as well. Never thought I’d say that about a movie. I usually love my endings to be long and detailed. Of course, filmed in 1972, almost 50 years ago(!) it is stagey, claustrophobic, and the production values are not what we are used to, these days. I don’t count that against it. **7 stars out of 10**

April 30, 2018

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