I watched the movie Emma again today. This time though, I watched a different production of it that has Emma played by Kate Beckinsale. I must say that I far prefer the version that has Gwyneth Paltrow as the title character.
The main reason I like Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma (besides the fact that I love Gwyneth in general as an actress) is because I felt that she made the character much more likeable.
Kate’s portrayal of Emma was that of a spoiled, meddling rich girl. She seemed snide, gossipy, conceited, and just overall not very likeable until the last few scenes where she did end up redeeming herself. But not enough for me to like the movie.
Gwyneth also made Emma out to be a bit spoiled and thoughtless at times, but you ended up really liking her in spite of her obvious faults. She really seemed to have the best of intentions, with the exception of her rude comments to poor Miss Bates.
It is funny how two movies, based on the same book and that have the same scenes and dialogue, can be so totally different. The viewer can come away with such a different feeling after watching different versions of the same tale based upon a single actor’s portrayal of a character, facial expressions, and vocal delivery.
Other reasons I liked the Emma movie that had Gwyneth as the title character:
- More chemistry between Emma and Mr. Knightly which made the ending much more believable
- Ewan McGregor. I just like him in general. 🙂
- The overall movie seemed to have a better flow to it. I found it much easier to follow the plot, even though I knew what was supposed to happen in both
- More development shown in the friendship between Emma and Harriet
Many people know that the movie Clueless, with Alicia Silverstone, is also based loosely on Jane Austen‘s Emma as well, just told in a more modern day fashion. What can I say? I loved this movie, even before I ever knew it was based upon a classic. I recently rewatched part of Clueless, and it was a lot of fun to compare it with the original now that I am familiar with Jane Austen. It makes me appreciate Clueless even more as a fantastic movie.