Friday, June 4, 2010
That said, it is the characterizations--the casting, if you will--that is exercising me most today. Romola Garai is an absolutely captivating Emma and I think, to my mind, probably captures my vision of Emma best of the three actresses. Gwyneth Paltrow was engaging (yes, I like GP!) and Kate Beckinsale brought a hesitant charm to the character which was an interesting viewpoint, but Garai is superb. Overconfident, immature, impulsive, infuriating and lovable, she is Emma.
Mr. Woodhouse is himself, in all versions. I think Bernard Hepton, in the A&E version is perhaps my favourite. I did not find Robert Bathurst, as Mr. Weston, at all appealing in the new BBC version. James Hazeldine in the A&E version again must take my vote. Anne Taylor/Mrs. Weston also, I could not like in the new Emma. Johdi May played the character too young, too uncertain, and lacking in credibility for a governess of some seventeen years. Greta Scacchi from the Miramax film will always be Mrs. Weston to me. She was calm, mature and wise, with the wisdom Emma needed but did not absorb from her teacher. In my opinion, a perfect characterization.
I could go on and on--characters are so endlessly fascinating. I wish I could take my favourite actors from each version of Emma and put them together in one film. I wonder if there would be the necessary chemistry between them, if their interactions would make the glorious whole that I envision.
Probably not! But my imagination serves me well in creating the perfect film. I wonder which film adaptation of her story Jane Austen would have approved, or if she would have appreciated a film version at all. Perhaps after all, Jane Austen is meant to be read, not seen.
Til next time,
I want to add my thanks to Joanna Waugh for a superb guest post last week. Those chandeliers have gone on my list of things to see in Bath whenever I get there!
Also please visit my website for a new contest here
Photos on this blog courtesy BBC, A&E, and Miramax Films
Posted by Lesley-Anne McLeod at 12:07 PM