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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Strong’

After watching the Sandy Welch BBC adaptation of Emma, I’ve been meaning to re-watch the older versions I own to see how they compare – and have now got round to seeing the short TV movie scripted by Andrew Davies and directed by Diarmuid Lawrence, which stars Kate Beckinsale as Emma and Mark Strong as Mr Knightley. Here are just a few slightly rambling comments before I get on to the other versions!

After the more leisurely pace of a four-episode version (though even that was much faster than the older adaptations), this dramatisation does feel very short at just 107 minutes. It almost seems as if Harriet is introduced one minute and turning down Robert Martin the next, with Mr Knightley bitterly upbraiding Emma a minute after that. However, despite this fast pace, I felt as if Davies manages to pack in all the key scenes from the novel – it would be fascinating to see how he would have treated the story if he had adapted it at greater length.

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The first thing that struck me about The Young Victoria was just how beautiful the whole film looks. The sunlit palaces, sweeping green lawns and, above all, the sumptuous costumes all work together to cast a spell – one I was delighted to fall under. The costumes are currently on display at Blenheim Palace – sadly, I don’t think I’m going to get a chance to see them before the event finishes at the  end of the month, but I’m putting in a link to an article about the exhibition.

Emily Blunt as Victoria

Emily Blunt as Victoria

I’d expected a lot from this film ever since I heard it was being made. It has a fine cast, headed by Emily Blunt in the title role, with other top names including Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter and Julian Glover. There’s also an interesting  up-and-coming director, Jean Marc Vallée – and a top scriptwriter, Julian Fellowes, who won an Oscar for his script for Gosford Park.  The name of Martin Scorsese as a producer was an added attraction, as if I needed one.

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