Emma / Shakespeare in Love
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Emma: This delightfully fun and lighthearted comedy is based on Jane Austen's classic novel. Dazzling Gweneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love, Iron Man) shines as Emma- a mischievous young beauty who sets up her single friends. Funny thing isshe's not very good at it! So when Emma tries to find a man for Harriet, she makes a hilariously tangled mess of everyone's lives. You'll enjoy all the comin confusion...until Emma herself falls in love, finally freeing everyone from her outrageously misguided attempts at matchmaking.Shakespeare In Love: Triumphant winner of 7 Academy Awards(R) -- including Best Picture -- this witty, sexy smash features Oscar(R)-winning Best Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (SLIDING DOORS, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) and an amazing cast that includes Academy Award-winners Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress), Geoffrey Rush (Best Actor -- SHINE), and Ben Affleck (GOOD WILL HUNTING, PEARL HARBOR). When Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes -- ELIZABETH) needs passionate inspiration to break a bad case of writer's block, a secret romance with the beautiful Lady Viola (Paltrow) starts the words flowing like never before! There are just two things he'll have to learn about his new love: not only is she promised to marry someone else, but she's successfully impersonating a man in order to play the lead in Will's latest production! A truly can't-miss motion picture event with outstanding critical acclaim to match its impressive collection of major awards -- everyone will love this funny behind-the-scenes look at the writing of the greatest love story ever told!
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I especially love Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma. Jeremy Northam is perhaps a bit too suave but still good as Mr. Knightley. The Eltons and Miss Bates were also great. Unfortunately Toni Collette was awful as Harriet Smith, as were Ewan McGregor as Frank Churchill (hideous wig) and Polly Walker as Jane Fairfax (too robust).
This was a fun movie, but not quite Jane Austen's Emma. The Mr. Elton story was given a lot more focus over the Frank Churchill one. I think if I could change just one thing, I'd play up the Frank/Jane story more. Oh, and get rid of the ugly wig as well.
My wife and I prefer the "Emma" of A&E with Kate Beckinsale. It has its faults (Mr. Knightly is too severe), but I find it closer to Jane Austen and more satisfying as a movie. The characters are richer. They ring true. The beauty of the A&E version is more like the beauty of a human face.
You may well want to own both. Check out the reviews of the A&E's Emma (1997) with Kate Beckinsale.