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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Emma + Sense and Sensibility and Miss Austen Regrets (2007) + Persuasion
Price For All Three: CDN$ 86.00

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Product Description

Emma (2009/DVD)


Although Jane Austen's Emma has been adapted for the screen many times before, including for an American version starring Gwyneth Paltrow, this four-part miniseries is the version to begin with. The story of Miss Woodhouse, a matchmaker and meddler whose wit and misdirection need to be carefully acted to match the novel's complex character, is perfectly expressed through Romola Garai's portrayal. Throughout the retelling of this comedic romantic drama, Garai not only conveys Emma's strong-willed sensibility but also manages to update Emma for modern audiences without relinquishing the traditional manners and tastes that Austen fans love in her 1815 historical tale. Each episode, here, opens with a seasonal shot of Hartfield, the estate Emma rules while caring for her loyal and kind but protective father (Michael Gambon). Having lost her mother early, Emma feels a bond with two other unfortunate children in Highbury, Frank Churchill (Rupert Evans) and Jane Fairfax (Laura Pyper), whom Emma befriends as they return home from boarding schools abroad.

The dramas that ensue revolve around Emma's attempts to pair lovers, with varied degrees of success. Episode One establishes Emma's curious desire to marry everyone off except herself. John Knightley (Johnny Lee Miller), Emma's childhood friend, is constantly by her side, coaching, supporting, and chiding her as she matures into an intelligent, regal young lady. Miller's ability to portray Knightley as the respectable, patient man he is throughout the series also lends this Emma incredible strength. In Episode Two, after Emma's beloved governess, Anne Taylor (Jodhi May), moves out to marry, Emma bonds with new girlfriend Harriet Smith (Louise Dylan), and from here we begin to see some of Emma's plans backfiring. Part of this series' genius is in how it manages, in keeping with Austen's book, to express deeper love developing between Emma and her true mate while Highbury's daily gossip continues. Though in Episodes Three and Four one weathers some minor emotional upheaval with aging parents, losses of wealth, and illnesses, this story is not tragic and most side plots point toward Emma's final love realization, which does not arrive until the last 20 minutes of the last episode. Settings and costumes enhance the story greatly, and views of the village farmers' market contrast with lavish balls and dinner parties hosted by the Woodhouse family and others to underscore Austen's original emphasis on capturing the preoccupations of upper-class British society in her day. Some scenes, as in Episode One when Knightley and Emma squabble for much too long over whom Harriet should marry, drag on, allowing one to marvel at how much free time these people had to worry about other business besides their own. Still, the romance in Emma is quite powerful and humor throughout makes this series ultimately enchanting. --Trinie Dalton

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Most helpful customer reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A version of Emma for the Austen fans Feb. 5 2010
By killerwhaletank TOP 500 REVIEWER
I saw this on Masterpiece Classic and it's one of the most gorgeous versions of Emma that I've seen. I've seen the previous ones with Gwyneth Paltrow (really enjoyed it) and Kate Beckinsale (didn't care for this one as much) and I think this one is my new favourite. It was well cast (Michael Gambon is fantastic, as always), the scenery and the costumes are lovely, the script covers the book much better than the Hollywood version with Paltrow, and Romola Garai is really good as Emma. She makes Emma come across as both spoiled and innocent without making her seem intentionally mean-spirited, and that's not easy to do. I do miss Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley but Jonny Lee Miller does a good job as well. I also really enjoyed Jane Fairfax in this one, I felt for the first time like she was a real character.

My only complaint is that I felt the end was a bit rushed. They did so well in the first half setting everything up, it felt almost like they'd run out of time at the end for everything to come together properly.

This is one should satisfy the Austen fans. I'd buy this one for sure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far, the best Emma adaptation Sept. 4 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After a shaky start in Episode 1, I actually found myself enjoying this latest adaptation of Emma. I own all the other adaptations and I think this is probably the best one of them all. Romola Garrai in the lead role was fantastic, and I also really enjoyed Jonny Lee Miller's Mr. Knightley. The 2 lead actors have wonderful chemistry, and lit up the screen in scenes when they were both front and centre - my favourite being the pivotal Crowne Ball scene(you'll see why). Episode 3 is great, and the final Episode 4 is dreamy!!! Having said this, I can understand why some Janeites would not approve. There were some liberties taken here and there, especially by changing up the beginning with the addition of a "back story" (which was probably meant to benefit those who've never read the book). The dialogue, and mannerisms were definitely modernized and not of the period. But in the end, I really didn't mind it. For me, this adaptation stayed truer to the book than any of the other adaptations and IMO made Austen a bit more accessible to a modern audience (and I might add, to some husbands out there who are "persuaded" to sit through the entire DVD). I'm also sure there are those who don't like Michael Gambon's Mr. Woodhouse (that's right - it's Dumbledore in that role). I've heard comments that this Mr. Woodhouse is a huge departure from the character in the book. Well, I'm on the fence about that, and this truly didn't detract from the adaptation. Admittedly I detected some slightly annoying continuity issues, but only after having viewed this DVD several times. Overall, I would highly recommend this adaptation. Except for the issues I've highlighted here, it really is a wonderful adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, and it is a joy to watch over and over!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent July 4 2010
This is my favorite version of Emma thus far. Well acted, well covered, well done. Your heart goes out to the aged father instead of feeling him a cranky old nuisance. Emma is likeable while at the same time deserving a good telling off. I had not seen Romola Garai before and found her portrayal of Emma to be best suited to the role as I have seen yet. I sentimentally loved the sweet ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, sparkling adaptation May 15 2010
I am an avid Austen fan who enjoys seeing well-done adaptations of her novels. Previous adaptations of Emma have been fine, but have had one or two flaws that prevent me from really loving them. This version, however, has completely won me over. The casting is brilliant -- Johnny Lee Miller and Romola Garai have a marvellous chemistry -- and the costuming / scenery is simply gorgeous. The script is excellent: it has remained true to the story but has brought to life some scenes that are only mentioned by Austen and added others that help us understand some of the characters better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a BBC masterpiece Aug. 16 2013
By George Jones TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Based on a novel by Jane Austin written in the early 1800's, Emma is another BBC masterpiece. The screen writer and producers have masterfully depicted the story in keeping with Austen's book, yet enabling us in the 21st century to see what her book didn't describe, as it was mainly written in dialogue. The costuming, housing, landscaping, transportation are all brought to life for us to appreciate and to understand better just what circumstances were at that time in history. Intriguing, yet funny story with well-developed characters. This is one of our favorite movies.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable March 13 2010
By Poetkitty TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very good overall - the characters are more 3 dimensional than are sometimes seen in J.A. adaptations. My only criticism is the pace is a little too slow and I actually missed seeing the more ridiculous characters being, well, quite ridiculous. I'd have liked to have seen Mr. Woodhouse, Miss Bates, and Mrs. Elton a little more hyperbolic. Mr. Woodhouse should have been more of a hypochondriac, Miss Bates even more tiresome and Mrs. Elton more of an upstart. But the look and feel of this was very grand, sets, costumes, music all very good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cast perfectly, and acted beautifully March 11 2010
I have always backed off of the story Emma, even though I love P & P, and S & S so much. Mostly because from what I saw in trailers of the Paltrow version, it looked rather dull. Garai brings a amiableness to the character I hadn't seen before. They have the best Mr. Knightley possible. The music that leads in and out of this series is pretty too. The scenery helps to further enrich the story. Each individual's character is evident, and the script has shown clearly each and every personality.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great version
Romola is amazing here.
Published 10 days ago by Claude Nozeres
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I enjoyed this movie very much. I thought it was an excellent period piece.
Published 3 months ago by mariavicente
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie, one negative was dvd was not properly ...
great movie, one negative was dvd was not properly put into the case so it was banging around inside the case, luckily no damage to disc.
Published 3 months ago by Emily Niklaus
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version out there!
Emma has never been my fav of Austen books, and the Gwennth Paltrow version didn't help. That said, this Johnny Lee Miller, Romola Garai version is beautiful. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Violet. T. Brewster
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Fantastic movie. Great performance. Bought it for à second Time. Gave it to my daughter and gave it to à friend.
Published 13 months ago by Eugenelle Pothier
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
This is very good rendition of the Austin novel. It is well acted and beautiful locations. It is well worth the watch.
Published 16 months ago by Wendy Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I chose it as a gift for someone who invited me to watch it with her. Like all the versions before it, there is a wonderful moral to the story, and it's full of enjoyable humor as... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Corrine Kuether
5.0 out of 5 stars Emma
I loved this version of Emma. The actress was vivacious and fun to watch. There were many amusing moments making watching it through start to finish easy.
Published on April 24 2012 by Kristen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Production !
Great Production.

My wife watched it on PBS a few times and like it. Decided to offer as a xmas gift. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2012 by Clyde0065
1.0 out of 5 stars Un navet...
Amazon indique que ce dvd est en prévente et sortira seulement à la fin janvier 2012 mais j'ai déjà ce coffret chez-moi car Imavision, la compagnie qui... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2011 by Mylène Laflamme
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