Happily, I was wrong 🙂 I did get home in time to catch the first episode of Emma on Masterpiece.
Emma is my second least favorite Austen novel, after Mansfield Park, though Mr. Knightley is one of my favorite Austen men, after Darcy and Wentworth. That said, I have always been somewhat partial to the 1996 adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma (though this may be because I think Jeremy Northam is a hot Mr. Knightley).
Thus far, I find I’m enjoying the adaptation, but I don’t think it will ever be one of my favorites.
The opening sequence was interesting, if a bit unusual. For some reason, it reminded me of Nanny McPhee. Poor little Frank and Jane at the mercy of their caretakers and little, motherless Emma watching it all. I felt at any moment, Nanny McPhee would swoop in and take them all in hand.
The many faces of Romola Garai were also a bit off-putting. It seemed like overacting, but I imagine it was meant to set the tone for Emma’s machinations (?). Her eyes seemed like they were about to pop out of her head for most of the episode. Like so:
During the Emma watching Twitter party, someone mentioned that Romola Garai looks a bit like Drew Barrymore in this one (I think it was CharleyBrown77) … I have to admit, I see a touch of Drew Barrymore’s Danielle (Ever After) in Garai’s Emma, though much more expressive.
Perhaps I’ll enjoy the second episode more as I tend to prefer the second half of the novel, (in which Emma receives the wrath of Knightley’s disapproval and has a change of heart).