Harriet from the ’96 (Gwyneth Paltrow) version – I really like this Harriet as Harriet. Her rendition of the character is slightly different from the book (as she never gets extremely stuck up and unkind to Emma) and I like that. I also like how she never truly forgets Mr. Martin.
Mrs. Weston from the ’09 version – She is not my ideal Mrs. Weston and, to my eye, her age appears too close to Emma’s to be her governess. Yet despite that, as a person I greatly like her and I think I would truly love to have her as a friend.
Mr. Knightley from the ’96 A&E version – Unlike the ‘72, ’96 and ’09 versions of Mr. Knightley, this Mr. Knightley is not quite how I imagine the character. However, I greatly enjoy picturing him in a different active historical fiction role such as Robert in Charlotte Bronte’s “Shirley” or even Mr. Thornton—and I relish watching him in this film just for that.
And now my absolutely favorite couple in any version of Emma…..
The ’96 A&E Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax!!! I hear a surprised murmuring…“Frank and Jane?” you say? “You mean the villain of the piece and Jane, who—though elegant—is not exactly the greatest?” and finally, “Why?”
First: in this version though Frank is rude to Jane he is mostly playing along with Emma instead of creating the entire scheme. (Not that that entirely changes things, but it makes a slight difference.)
Second: his appearance is very similar to Tom in Mansfield Park. I could say much more on that subject, but I will leave it for a review of MP. Suffice to say at the moment it is one of the greatest recommendations he could receive from me.
Finally: they fit so well together. He sincerely smiles and his eyes light up as he looks at her. Her face glows and she blossoms out whenever he is near. They are really so adorable together that I can hardly stand it and it is so utterly sweet, that I can—and do—watch the movie simply for them!
So…what do you think? Who plays your favorite character renditions in Emma?