23 March 2008

At Last, Another Fix

So the long dearth of PBS fundraising is over (I shouldn't complain as I never donate and am thus a freeloader, but whatever my intentions I end up spending my money on other things, like cute handbags by Isaac Mizrahi) and the Masterpiece Austen-a-thon has returned. I have never actually seen the BBC version of Emma with Kate Beckinsale. I am rather partial to the other 1996 version of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow (during her "I swear I'm NOT British" phase) but mostly due to Jeremy Northam. And I couldn't help but make comparisons between the two.

I do very much think the BBC miniseries suffers from a lack of Jeremy Northam. He is perfect as Mr. Knightley. Also, he is dreamy. But I also missed the presence of Sophie Thompson as Miss Bates and Juliet Stevenson as Mrs. Elton. They both had such positively wonderful deliveries of some of the best lines in the book. The actors in the BBC version were good, but I thought there was just a little less sparkle. It is quite possible that I am wrong and simply showing my bias towards the US film version.

I did, however, love the opening and closing of the show with the chicken thieves. What an analogy for poor Mr. Woodhouse. All these young men coming to steal his women out from under him. First John Knightley takes Isabella away, then Mr. Weston takes Miss Taylor, and finally his dear friend Mr. Knightley steals his last solace, his daughter Emma, right out from under him. Poor man. What a witty use of the theme by the BBC team. I also liked Olivia Williams as Jane Fairfax. She seemed more emotive than the Jane Fairfax in the US film version. Perhaps it is because they included her scenes from the strawberry-picking outing and the word game, but she seemed more human and less passive than the US film would lead you to believe.

And finally, although it is possibly in bad taste, I must say that Kate Beckinsale has done something to her face. It isn't that she is unrecognizable from then to now, but it is as if the shape of her face has changed. Do you think it was dental work? I can't put my finger on it, but it is different. Maybe someone out there can point me in the right direction.

I hope you all enjoyed the return of the Austen-a-thon. Next up: a new version of Sense & Sensibility. I have an open mind, but I do think it will suffer from a lack of Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. As most films do.

6 comments:

Treat Queen said...

Let's be honest. You don't really get any better than Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson.

esperanza said...

I think they could come up with someone a lot more dashing than Alan Rickman.....just my opinion :) But better than Emma Thompson? I don't think so.

Scully said...

It isn't that Alan Rickman is necessarily dashing - since I don't think Col. Brandon was supposed to be dashing - but rather the fact that he is just wicked awesome in everything he does. Everything. Also, I would just like to say I am typing this on my beautiful new MacBook. And I am in heaven. Love It!

esperanza said...

I'm just not an Alan Rickman fan, except when he is Snape. He makes the PERFECt Snape.

ZB said...

Glad you got your fix for NOW. I think that my mom has the same addiction that you do. The other day, I found her in her room with a TV...she'd been watching for 6 hours straight. Something British. It's hard to say...

ZB said...

Glad you got your fix for NOW. I think that my mom has the same addiction that you do. The other day, I found her in her room with a TV...she'd been watching for 6 hours straight. Something British. It's hard to say...