Re-Watch: Clueless (1995)

And coming to a final stop in the big EmmaAdaptationWatching-and-Comparing, we got Clueless, Amy Heckerling‘s modernised adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel, starring Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer and Jeremy Sisto.

Plot:
Cher (Alicia Silverstone) is a rich LA teenager whose life revolves around her clothes and her friends, most of all Dionne (Stacey Dash). When Cher gets bad grades in her debate class, she decides to set up two of her teachers – Mr Hall (Wallace Shawn) and Miss Geist (Twink Caplan). And since she enjoys playing the matchmaker, she decides to set up the new girl Tai (Brittany Murphy) as well.

I love this movie so much, I can’t even tell you. This migh taint my judgment, but I think it’s pretty much perfect – funny, intelligent and sweet. The only fault I can find with it is that it doesn’t credit Austen at all. [It’s just different enough to not make it completely indecent, but still.]

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Re-Watch: Emma (1996)

[We’re nearing the end of my EmmaComparisonProject. So, if you’re tired of reading about this, it’s only Clueless tomorrow and we’re done. :)]

Emma is Douglas McGrath‘s adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Alan Cumming, Toni Collette, Ewan McGregor, Greta Scacchi, Polly Walker, Sophie Thompson and Juliet Stevenson.

Plot:
Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) is “handsome, clever, and rich” and also very interested in matching the people around her. She credits herself with matching up her former governess Miss Taylor (now Mrs Weston) (Greta Scacchi) and Mr Weston (James Cosmo) and encouraged by that success, sets about her next “victim”, naive and unrefined Harriet Smith (Toni Collette). Despite the warnings of her friend Mr Knightley (Jeremy Northam), Emma wants to match Harriet with the local vicar, Mr Elton (Alan Cumming). For herself, Emma has no plans – other than Mr Weston’s son Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor) (who she has never met) excites her curiosity.

It’s been a while since I have seen this film and I think that memory has slightly exaggerated its awesomeness. Especially the script and Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t impress that much this time round as they did before. But it’s still a wonderful movie and does have the best Mr Knightley, hands down.

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Emma (2009)

Continuing the adaptation watching after finishing the book, is the BBC’s newest Emma, a miniseries directed by Jim O’Hanlon and starring Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, Michael Gambon, Jodhi May, Louise Dylan, Blake Ritson, Tamsin Greig, Laura Pyper and Rupert Evans.

Plot:
Emma Woodhouse (Romola Garai) is “handsome, clever, and rich” and also very interested in matching the people around her. She credits herself with matching up her former governess Miss Taylor (now Mrs Weston) (Jodhi May) and Mr Weston (Robert Bathurst) and encouraged by that success, sets about her next “victim”, naive and unrefined Harriet Smith (Louise Dylan). Despite the warnings of her friend Mr Knightley (Jonny Lee Miller), Emma wants to match Harriet with the local vicar, Mr Elton (Blake Ritson). For herself, Emma has no plans – other than Mr Weston’s son Frank Churchill (Rupert Evans) (who she has never met) excites her curiosity.

This miniseries is definitely the most literal adaptation of the book so far – little wonder, since it’s also the only one that gets four hours to tell the story. It has a surprisingly modern feel to it, which doesn’t always work and high production values, but around the middle it just stopped holding my interest.

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Emma (1996)

[Since I finished reading the novel, I figured that I’d watch the adaptations, too and I decided to start with the films I hadn’t yet seen. So, this is the first one, but there will be more.]

Emma is Diarmuid Lawrence‘ adaptation of Jane Austen‘s novel, starring Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong, Samantha Morton, Dominic Rowan, Samantha Bond, Olivia Williams and Bernard Hepton.

Plot:
Emma Woodhouse (Kate Beckinsale) is “handsome, clever, and rich” and also very interested in matching the people around her. She credits herself with matching up her former governess Miss Taylor (now Mrs Weston) (Samantha Bond) and Mr Weston (James Hazeldine) and encouraged by that success, sets about her next “victim”, naive and unrefined Harriet Smith (Samantha Morton). Despite the warnings of her friend Mr Knightley (Mark Strong), Emma wants to match Harriet with the local vicar, Mr Elton (Dominic Rowan). For herself, Emma has no plans – other than Mr Weston’s son Frank Churchill (Raymond Coulthard) (who she has never met) excites her curiosity.

This movie has it hard. It came out in the same year as the more famous Gwyneth Paltrow version and so really doesn’t escape comparison. And mostly, it loses. But only mostly, not entirely.

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Emma (Jane Austen)

Emma is one of Jane Austen‘s novels.

Plot:
Emma Woodhouse is “handsome, clever, and rich” and also very interested in matching the people around her. She credits herself with matching up her former governess Miss Taylor (now Mrs Weston) and Mr Weston and encouraged by that success, sets about her next “victim”, naive and unrefined Harriet Smith. Despite the warnings of her friend Mr Knightley, Emma wants to match Harriet with the local vicar, Mr Elton. For herself, Emma has no plans – other than Mr Weston’s son Frank Churchill (who she has never met) excites her curiosity.

I liked Emma better than I thought I would. I always thought that – though I like the movie adaptations I know – Emma would be a better film than book. But it isn’t so: you could see that Austen has grown as a writer and though I have a few contentions, the novel is perfectly entertaining.

[We continue A Bit Spoilery]

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