Sunday, February 14, 2010

Emma on Masterpiece Theatre *****

Well, I'm diverging. I'm going to review a TV show for a change, simply because it was so good. It's based on a classic piece of literature, though, so I figure I'm not going too far off my beaten path.
For the past few weeks, a new version of Emma has been on Masterpiece Theatre. Now I love Masterpiece--I've watched it since I was about 14 years old. And last year at this time they had a Jane Austen festival, if you will, where they showed all of her books made into movies. But this is a new production, & the very best version of it I've ever seen.
I think what makes this one so good is the rapport between Emma & Mr. Knightley. They banter back & forth & give each other trouble throughout almost the whole production without Emma ever realizing that they are actually in love. The actor playing Mr. Knightley does a wonderful job of making him a much more human character than I've seen in other productions. And though I know they've taken a few liberties with the book, this interpretation really speaks to modern viewers without totally forgetting the context in which it was written. The screenwriter also goes to the trouble of trying to help us understand why Mr. Churchill does the things he does, & leaves him in a little more sympathetic light.

Rent it, buy it, whatever. If you like Jane Austen, or any good romantic comedy, please see this!!

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