Monday, September 13, 2010
Dear Mr. Knightley
Last night my family and I watched again BBC's newest adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. I know this adaptation has it's faults but I really love it, in fact I think it's my favorite Emma adaptation now. There are so many lovely features: costumes, scenes, dances, actors, and a script that leaves very little of original story out!
My family and I enjoyed watching it immensely (it was my 5th time viewing it)! We particularly enjoyed Johnny Lee Miller's performance as Mr. Knightley. And I must say I am "falling in love" with Jane Austen's wonderful mature hero of Emma like never before!
Because I not too long ago made a great many screencap banners (with words, from Emma) I decided the rest of this post will be devoted to these banners and the various things that occurred to me while watching Emma last night.
Mr. Knightley lives so close to Hartfield that he walks over almost every day! He also frequently advises Mr. Woodhouse on buisness and stays to dinner. He comes and goes at all respectable hours and doesn't hesitate to use side doors. It's no wonder Emma thinks of him as an older brother and not a possible husband.
In this version of Emma, Mr. Knightley even has his own chair to pull up by the fire! He also is very at home using their ink and paper to write letters.
Mr. Knightley is such a gentleman and a kind caring friend to everyone and especially to Emma. He's so kind and attentive, so courteous and yet very practical. He is the very best friend anyone could wish for!
But Mr. Knightley also has a very good buisness head on his shoulders. He has done very well with the estate of Donwell Abbey, his farms and land yield abundantly. Mr. Knightley is definitely more at home talking crop rotations with his tenants than dancing in the finest London drawing rooms!
It occurred to me that since Donwell Abbey is so close to the town of Highbury and since the Knightleys are the richest and most prominent family around that Mr. Knightley must be the chief employer of Highbury's vicar. Then I remembered that in the book Mr. Knightley meets with Mr. Elton frequently on parish business. So really far from being Mr. E's "my friend Knightley" he is actually Mr. Elton's boss in every sense of the word!
Since the Knightley family are the chief employers of the vicar it popped into my head that Mrs. Bates' descended husband and Miss Bates' father (and Jane Fairfax's grandfather) was the former Reverend of Highbury. Mr. Knightley's kind attentions are directed toward these two ladies because he is kind, but also because he feels a responsibility to help them since his family has helped support them for years! He is always bring them gifts of food and acting on their behalf with business and letting them use his carriage when he sees the need. What a gentleman!!!
Mr. Knightley realizes he loves Emma almost as soon as Frank Churchill starts showing attentions to her. But he is quiet about his love for her and allows her to make her own choice.
"Brother and sister, no indeed!" is the one phrase not included in this adaptation that I miss the most!
My favorite scene in this film is definitely the proposal scene! It's full of lovely confessions and sweet moments.
Below are some banners with screencaps from this proposal scene:
Smoldering looks that just melt the heart! What a silly fan girl I've become! :)
The biggest illustration of Mr. Knightley's love for Emma is his willingness to relocate from his bachelor's pad, his ancestral pile of Donwell Abbey to the more confined and feminine Hartfield. He's has the perfect kind temperament to live in the same house with Mr. Woodhouse day in and day out.
I love that in this film the outward affections are very gentle and tender. Mr. Knightley is content just to hold Emma's hand in his, happy that her heart now belongs to him.
There's only a few other literary heroes who deserve happiness more than dear Mr. Knightley!
What are your thoughts on Mr. Knightley? Did you like this adaptation of Emma? Who are your favorite Jane Austen heroes?
Hope this silly post brightens you day! Sorry for posting so many banners, I just had too much fun making them! :)