Fellow Movie Lovers
EMMA JANE AUSTEN’S MASTERPIECE PREMIERS SUNDAY JANUARY
24TH ON PBS
It was amazingly serendipitous when I arrived home from a gluttonous culture junket to New York City, where I had just seen the Jane Austen Manuscript Exhibit (Morgan Library), to find the CD of this remarkable mini series from a generous friend!
I spent a delicious afternoon with Emma in the comfort of my home, surrounded by pillows, snacks and the ultimate adult pacifier, the remote control! This is a not to be missed jewel.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) wrote this classic anonymously (1815) after the success of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and in her own words created a heroine only she could love.
Emma is wealthy, spoiled, acutely intelligent and entertains herself by playing cupid in her small and stilted world. She can be cruel, mean-spirited and spiteful but her appeal lies in her ability to recognize her errors and correct them; conquering all hearts in the process. Her unchained passion and joy in every wakening moment is infectious. Despite her faults her friendship would be a gift, a protected one.
There have been a myriad of Emma’s, in recent years, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale, but Romola Garai (Atonement) surpasses them all; she is the Emma you envision as you devour the novel. Her luminosity is a film makers dream; like Scarlett O’Hara she is not a traditional beauty but before you realize it she has imprisoned your soul. Her every expression speaks volumes and her smile should be minted.
Jonny Lee Miller (Endgame) as Mr. Knightly is her intellectual match and they spar with masterful agility. The most entertaining trait of the film is the triumph of the art of conversation; they trade barbs, with wit, skill and acerbity. Their blatant honesty is riveting and delightful to behold. They were made for each other and we root for their awakening.
Wandering through the Jane Austen Manuscript Exhibit I was astounded by the millions of hand written words; minutely and meticulously written, words that danced from her mind to her pen, words that still enthrall and enchant after almost two hundred years.
She died mysteriously at the age of forty-one (now diagnosed as Addison Disease) and leaves behind a legacy that will thrive and edify through eternity.