Book vs. Movie: Emma Film & TV Adaptations (1996, 1997, 2009, 2020)

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Emma by Jane Austen, charming, clever, and wise. First published in three volumes in 1815, it is noteworthy for its distinctive style and character development. Emma revolves around social status and marriage in a subtle satirization of English high society mores. Contrary to Austen’s belief about her unlikable heroine, Emma Woodhouse has been a beloved literary character for generations. There have been over a dozen adaptations of Emma, from musicals to modern-day reimaginings. In this video, we look at four recent traditional adaptations of this iconic novel.

Emma (1996)
Starring Gwyneth Paltrow

Emma (1996/1997)
Starring Kate Beckinsale

Emma (2009)
Starring Romola Garai

Emma. (2020)
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy

#BytheBook #Emma


Midnight Ninja says:

Why is clueless not apart of this?

Marina Segura says:

does anyone more thinlk that in 2020 version Mr Churchill and Mr Elton look like brothers? maybe the're kind of similar characters and director wanted similar actors?? mrs Elton is awfully good and pedant and the Westons are great. I didn't like how they portrayed Isabella, thou, her character is angry and hysteric

Michelle Howard says:

The only Austen heroine I dislike….Greatly dislike.

Psychedelic Yeti says:

I've only watched the 2009 version and I enjoyed it. (And Clueless, of course). Thank you for your comparison videos! Can't wait to watch the other adaptations.

silvinajasiuk says:

My favourite is Emma 2009. Because of the actors and the hole adaptation

Maggie Rheann says:

The 1996 version with Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong was my first love, and I adored the 2009 version with Romola Garai!

Vilma Karolina Rado says:

Can you also make Wuthering Hights?

irishcottage says:

I loved Romola Garai.

saffie girl says:

Emma is my least liked Austen novel, but Ramola’s version was the only one I watched from start to finish.

Rabiya Sheikh says:

BBC 2009 version is the best

Kat Wernery says:

As of now my favorite adaptation is the 2009 BBC version!

Isabella Jones says:

Disagree with the writer. The Paltrow / Northam version still much the best in my opinion, apart from the casting of Toni Colette as Harriet. It's the best presentation of the book as Austen wrote it, not some modern "interpretation. It only missed Mr. Knightley's "if I loved you less I could have talked of it more". Paltrow got the insult to Ms Bates prefect with its icey politeness, the others brought a rough coarseness to Emma which is not how Austen portrayed her.

Eduarda Graciano says:

Love all of them but the 2009 is not only my favorite version of Emma, it is my favorite Austen adaptation ever. Jonny Lee Miller is Mr. Knightley. ♥

Megan says:

My personal favorites:
Best Mr. Knightley: Jeremy Northam, 1996.
Best Emma: Romola Garai, 2009
Best Miss Bates: Sophie Thompson, 1996 /2009 tie, loving parts of both.
Best Mrs. Bates: Phyllida Law 1996
Best Harriet: 2009
Best Robert Martin: Edward Woodall, 1996
Best Elton: Alan Cumming, 1996
Best Mr. Woodhouse: Michael Gambon, 2009
Best Frank: Raymond Coulthard, 1996
Best Jane: 2009
Best Mrs. Weston: Greta Scacchi, 1996
Best Mr. Weston: 2009/2020 tie
Best Mrs. Elton: Juliet Stevenson, 1996
Best Music: Rachel Portman, 1996
Best Dance: 2020
Best all-around production (set, costumes, music, cinematography, direction, and story telling):Gwyneth Paltrow 1996

Honorable mentions:
2020 servants, music, and Mr. Woodhouse; 2009 Mrs. Weston for looking age appropriate; and 1996 (Paltrow version) for Toni Colette's Harriet, the Coles, and Ewan McGreggor playing a smarmy ham.

Laurie Butts says:

Best one is Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma.

marszipan says:

The 2009 one was the best! Im not quite drawn to the 2020 one though..still havent watched knightley doesnt look very it worth the watch?

aruzhan frk says:

the 1996 one is more accurate 😳 as far as i remember Emma was brunet

Juan Duenas says:


playlists says:

Are people not capable of writing their own stories any more

Andrea Sío Iglesias says:

Foro me 2020 is the best adaptation it took spirit of Emma 's book

Lexy O says:

The 2020 adaptation was the most artistic, true to the novel and my favorite movie.

absolutetruthgirl says:

the 1996 version did it for me. I love Mark Strong's portrayal of Knightley.

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