Written by: Andrew Davies, based on the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by: Diarmuid Lawrence
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong, Samantha Morton, Raymond Coulthard, Olivia Williams
- “About Jane Austen”
Released by: A&E
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent it.
Emma (Beckinsale) fancies herself a matchmaker. She gets an idea into her head as to who should be hooked up with whom and she just pushes things in that direction. So far, she’s been doing all right, but her luck is about to change. She sets her sights on Harriet (Morton) and the local religious head burrito Mr. Elton (Dominic Rowan) much to the dismay of her lifelong friend and verbal sparring partner, Mr. Knightley (Strong). Then there’s the matter of Frank Churchill (Coulthard), who she’s been wanting to meet for some time and has now shown up. Will Mr. Churchill be the one to finally win Emma’s heart? Or will the almost disgustingly perfect Jane Fairfax (Williams) beat her out for Mr. Churchill? Or Mr. Knightley? Or…I don’t know, somebody.
As far as special features on the disc go, it’s unfortunately sparse. Two screens’ worth of a brief bio of Jane Austen is all that you get. It would have been nice to get a behind-the-scenes short docu like we got on the aforementioned Pride set, or better still a commentary from scribe Davies.
In short, if you’re a big fan of the A&E Jane Austen films, then you’re going to want this as part of your DVD collection. Those of us who would simply like to witness an Austen adaptation that’s better than most should probably wait and rent it.