Dang, Ian. That was fast.I think our disagreements often mask a deeper agreement, in which one…

Dang, Ian. That was fast.

I think our disagreements often mask a deeper agreement, in which one person is manifesting their love of something by focusing on its perceived flaws, highlighting how those shortcomings are so in contrast to the loved essence of the thing, while the other is performatively disregarding those flaws, blithely ignoring them to celebrate the same loved essence.

Anyway, I don’t know how you feel about this adaptation. I know some people don’t like it much. I liked it a lot.

I liked its gentle persistence in being thoroughly and deeply not the 1996 theatrical-release adaptation. I loved its female gaze. I loved its awareness of the servant class, and of the lens provided by their halting and embarrassed efforts to inhabit the margins of their ridiculous and self-absorbed employers’ lives.

I loved the clothes.

I loved the Weston’s ball at the Crown. Loved it so much. Harriet’s face when Knightley approached her was heartbreaking, and de Wilde’s handling of the rest of the evening was the sort of thing I watch this kind of movie for.

Box Hill was excruciating. Miss Bates’ reaction, and Knightley’s subsequent remonstrance at the carriage, were among my favorite and least favorite moments in the film, if that makes any sense.

Knightley and Emma’s big scene under that beautiful tree was wonderful, and then, as if the storyteller was toying with the characters, it pulled back into farce, and you know what? I loved that too. I loved that it subjected Emma to that gentle indignity, the Emma who in this adaptation was so unrelentingly cold and imperious, so unlikeable. To humanize her in that moment, to have her emotion manifest in that way, felt earned to me, even as I get why some have said they found it off-putting.

I haven’t mentioned a bunch of other performances that I loved: Mr. Woodhouse, the Eltons, the Taylors, Frank and Jane. I thought they were all wonderful.

So yes, I liked it a lot. At a time when the real world has conspired to layer a number of unpleasant associations onto the 1996 theatrical release (at least in my mind) it’s a relief to have this new interpretation, to enter into a new imagining of the world of the novel, without any of that.

I know there’s a lot here you might disagree with. “But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend… I will hear whatever you like.” :-)

Reposted from https://lies.tumblr.com/post/613665506220769280.

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