Jane Austen

Emma (2009 BBC mini-series)
When I found out that Dan was going camping this weekend I organized our Netflix queue accordingly – meaning that the first disc of the BBC Emma mini-series that I heard about while watching the Golden Globes arrived on Wednesday. So on Thursday night when I had the house to myself I curled up on the couch under a fleece blanket and watched the first half of Emma. I can’t say enough good things about this production. It’s such a wonderfully intricate story and Michael Gambon is just great as Mr. Woodhouse. I sent Disc 1 back to Netflix yesterday morning so I’m hoping to get Disc 2 and watch the rest of Emma soon. I have to admit that I tried reading the Jane Austen book a long time ago, but I found it boring (which is odd since I love Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility). However, after watching the first half of the mini-series last night I downloaded the free version of the book on my Kindle (because my paperback copy is still in Tallahassee) to give it another try.

Clueless (1995)
This movie epitomized teen culture in the mid-nineties. I was actually in high school when it came out so I should know (although my school was about as far from Los Angeles as you can get). I’m sure I saw this movie in the theater with my girlfriends and I probably still have the ticket somewhere in Tallahassee to prove it. After watching Emma on Thursday night, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Clueless was on television yesterday when I got home from work so I watched it while typing up my daily webpage post. I realize that it’s pretty dated, but it’s still an entertaining movie. I’m young enough to remember the social politics that was high school, and no matter how much I like watching Clueless, I’m glad I’m not a part of that drama any more! I would love to own a few of the dresses that Cher wears, though, especially that red one at the Valley party. Classic. And Clueless is full of great quotes. Here’s my favorite one:

“So okay, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don’t get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair – ew – and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so.”

Emma (1996)
I hated this movie the first time I saw it, maybe due to my dislike of Gwyneth Paltrow, but since I saw that it was available on Netflix Instant I decided to give it another try. Plus, it was a good diversion while I waited for the second disc of the Emma mini-series to arrive. I have to admit that the movie is not as bad as I originally thought, but it can’t hold a candle to the BBC production. I’m not sure any movie can stand on its own two feet when there’s a BBC version to compare it to, though. While I still don’t like Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma (she just didn’t portray the character’s trademark combination of charity and conceit, a duality that makes her so interesting), I thought Alan Cumming was great as Mr. Elton and Juliet Stevenson (who you may remember as Keira Knightly’s mother in Bend It Like Beckham) was brilliant in her cameo role as Mrs. Elton. Her quote to end the movie really wrapped it up in the best possible way.

“I do not profess to be an expert in the field of fashion (though my friends say I have quite the eye) but I can tell you, there is a shocking lack of satin!”

One thought on “Jane Austen

  1. Hi Lauren! I have to say that the 2009 BBC version of Emma is excellent. So jealous that you’ve got a whole weekend to watch Jane Austen movies! :) Hope things are going well with you.

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