January 27, 2010

Jane Austin's Emma

Its Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthday today according to my calendar on top ^ there. Don't forget to celebrate by hearing a nice selection of his wonderful music.

The BBC's newest version of Jane Austin's "Emma" (2009) is the finest yet.

The sets, the scenery, the dresses(!), all so beautiful and Romola Garai is the sweetest Emma yet.

Jonny Lee Miller was gallant and handsome as Mr. Knightly, very believable.

I liked this one far more than the Gwyneth Paltrow version, though I thought that one was good also. But this one was visually more effecting and I liked the character portrayals much more because they seemed more true to the original characters in the novel.

In this adaptation the heroine is not the knowing, planning, haughty version as played by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Garai's Emma is as I envisioned her in the novel, young, sweet, naive , eager and well meaning.

There are no real mean or hard spots in Emma and Garai's portrait brings that to life. Here Emma is just young and learning , eager to help but not scheming or conniving in any way.

The photography of the English countryside is beautiful and you would find it worth your while to watch for that if for no other reason.The houses are breathtaking and the outdoor shots are just lovely.

The graceful Regency era costumes are authentic and make me long for a return to those times for the clothing alone, though I love the manners and genteel society of the era especially in the light of the crass era in which we live and from which there is little escape.
The free spirit of the Regency era dresses are in sharp contrast to the tight trussed up look of the Victorian Era.

Like many women I love Jane Austin's works. I am a fan of some of Bronte's novels too, especially Jane Eyre and I like how the BBC has done and redone these classics to perfection.

Jane Austin knew people and loved them. Her insight into society and it's hypocrisies , all it's many sides good and bad and the people who lived it are wonderful.
Austin portrays them all to us so that we "know" them so well... from well meaning Emma, silly Harriet, secretive Jane, Emma's sweet and ever worried father and the scolding and reproving Mr. Knightly. These characters are alive in this series. You feel as if you could step right in and live amongst them. We've met people like them, they are as fresh today as in 1815.

One scene in particular is so memorably romantic and so very thrilling. It is the dance scene when Mr. Knightly dances with Emma. It's a true gem and I loved every second of it.

If you like movies like this it is available on Veoh I believe and for the time being on you tube if you look for the 2009 BBC production. The other versions are online as well as are most of the other productions of Jane Austin's works.

If this gorgeous wedding cake from "Emma" interests you, HERE is a recipe.
I think the layers are stuck together with a mocha mousse filling.
The top is a bundt cake form seemingly in a light milk chocolate cake , while bottom seems to be a light vanilla cake.
It would make sense to place a creamy mousse between layers .

Maybe I will try making this and then place the recipe on my rock and roll cafe blog. That should keep me out of trouble for a while!


  1. Hi Annie,
    I love Jonny Lee Miller. I use to watch him on TV on Eli Stone for 2 season until they cancelled it. I was very sad. And he was married to Angelina Jolie along time ago. That cakes looks and sounds great too! Have a wonderful evening.
    Hugs, Dru

  2. Wow, what a fabulous cake. I'll have to look for the movie on You Tube. Sometimes I can't find what I'm looking for there.

  3. Laughing at Dru's coments because that's my knowledge of Jonny Lee Miler, too- Eli Stone and Angelina Jolie! I enjoy the BBC productions of Jane Austen. I love the old Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth. :) Sneraking in a quick visit while both boys are sleeping. The electricians are here working but so far haven't awaken them. Almost time to go home anyway. (((Hugz)))

  4. Did you see the movie "The Duchess" (with Keira Knightly).
    When you wrote about "Jonny Lee as Mr Knightly" I suddenly was reminded of that movie - you can rent it on DVD. It's fabulous. (And I love Keira Knightley, she's fabulous too)

  5. Hi Annie: I used to play Mozart on the piano. No more of that-arthritic hands! Have a lovely day. HUGS

  6. Happy Friday Annie;

    I loved this version of "Emma" and can't wait until Sunday night to watch part II. Jonny Lee Miller makes for a younger Knightly which worked well in this rendition. I own the A&E BBS production of "Emma" with Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong as Knightly and as much as I like the new show now on PBS, I think I still love the Beckinsale & Strong better. I have the Gwyneth Paltrow version also but I agree with you that's a Hollywood version. So far I own every A&E and PBS versions of all of Jane Austin and still treasure my "P&P" with Colin Firth. My favorite "Persuasion" is the Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds version even though Rupert Penry-Jones in the PBS version was very handsome. That version was a disappointment with too much running through the streets and that lingering camera on her lips before they kissed. LOL!! But I bought it anyway.

    Wow! I really went on and on, didn't I!!
    Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  7. Hi Annie I love Jane Austin and the Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth too as does Darylynn. I will have to keep my eyes peeled to watch this, don't think my husband will be into it though it's not his cup of tea I am sure.
    This woman playing the part is very beautiful and Jonny Lee Miller is so cute! I have some more reading to do of Jane Austin's, if I ever get any time lately I will have to get back to reading my books! Have a great weekend. big hugs

  8. What a graceful era ! Beautiful clothes ! You bring such neat stuff to our attention...and that cake ! Wow ! Although not the norm for a wedding cake , it is so lovely ( makes me want to raid the pantry and whip up something yummy ).Have a wonderful day !

  9. Hi Annie, Happy February;

    I really enjoyed part II & III of Emma last night. After seeing the whole show I now like it as much as Kate Beckinsale's version. But then I like all versions of any Jane Austin. They get me back into reading her books again. Hugs


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