The New Emma

Mr. Knightley is the best. He has always been the best.

Standing in line at the concession stand on a Thursday night for the first Palo Alto screening of the new Emma, self got into spirited discussion with two young women about thoughts of different Emma iterations. “Oh! The Winona Ryder version, so under-rated!”

Self had to think a moment before saying “Christian Bale, right?” Ooh, that was good casting!

“The most under-rated Mr. Knightley is still Paul Rudd,” said a young woman.

That’s right! How could self forget! Clueless! Paul Rudd, what a dreamboat!

“I want Paul Rudd’s skin-care routine,” said another young woman.

“Me, too!” self put in, enthusiastic. “Mr. Knightley’s supposed to have a nude scene in this one.”

“The problem is when they make him too old,” said the young woman.

“Well, remember Johnny Lee Miller? He was GREAT. And THIS one’s a rock singer, too.”

“BBC, right?”

“Right! Romola Garai as Emma!”

That is the most fun self has had in a movie concession stand, EVER.

As to the movie itself. The reason self was madly rushing to the movie, despite her front lawn looking like this:

20200228_120104

was Sheila O’Malley’s review.

After seeing the movie, self doesn’t think Johnny Flynn unseats Johnny Lee Miller. Or Paul Rudd.

Since this is the first time she’s ever seen Johnny Flynn, she can’t tell if he always speaks in that languid drawl, or if he just speaks that way because he’s playing Mr. Knightley. But his eyes speak volumes!

Nevertheless, self was vastly put off by those great, bushy sideburns. And decided forthwith that sideburns are just — a mood-killer.

And the starched cravats slicing into Flynn’s cheekbones, what!

And she was completely shocked that there was no build-up to the nude scene. But was happy to see the actor was slender — i.e., not buff. Which would have been a real slap in the face to Mr. Knightley if he were, in self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned.

 

Black Christmas: A List of Things

  • There is one grand entrance that will have you on your feet and cheering. So unexpected, maybe cheesy, but self loved it. If you didn’t love it, you should not watch any horror movies set on campuses.
  • Props to any student attending Hawthorne College despite the creepy founder.
  • Never join a frat. Frats are bad.
  • Cary Elwes! Lookin’ good. Please be in more movies, Cary Elwes.
  • This is a gag movie. Therefore, as required by the genre, the heroine must be very, very, very dense.
  • There is this line: “We’ll split up.” Yes! It is always wise to split up when there is a murderer in the house.

Solid B.

 

At Last, Emma Opens Her Eyes!

EMMA, Vol. III Chapter XI

  • Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!

High Comedy

EMMA: Volume II Chapter XV

Far be it for self to attempt to sum up the Immortal Jane, but time is short and self has a book (nay, many books!) to complete. If only self could keep up this arch language for a moment longer — so that she could finish her work-in-progress set in, naturally, Regency England!

But, she digresses.

A chapter or two ago, Mrs. Weston confided to Emma that she believes Mr. Knightley is in love with Jane Fairfax. This suggestion puts Emma in high dudgeon (even though she has never, hitherto, thought of Mr. Knightley in any way other than a brother)

So, Emma decides to probe about the nature of his feelings for Jane Fairfax (Among other things, Jane was the recipient of a piano from a mysterious benefactor. And, pianos being expensive, suspicion on the possible donor centers on Mr. Knightley). She asks him a direct question about Jane. What follows is a most delightful episode of “foot pressing.” Self never encountered the like in any of the Jane Austen novels she has read to date. You know, when someone is about to put her/his foot in her/his mouth and someone gives you a kick under the table? As a kind of warning?

Here’s the scene:

Mr. Knightley was hard at work upon the lower buttons of his thick leather gaiters, and either the exertion of getting them together, or some other cause, brought the colour into his face, as he answered,

“Oh, are you there? — But you are miserably behind-hand. Mr. Cole gave me a hint of it six weeks ago.”

He stopped. Emma felt her foot pressed by Mrs. Weston, and did not know herself what to think. In a moment he went on —

“That will never be, however, I can assure you. Miss Fairfax, I dare say, would not have me if I were to ask her — and I am very sure I shall never ask her.”

He becomes annoyed with Emma’s questions, and then thoughtful. Jane Fairfax, Mr. Knightley says, “has a fault. She has not the open temper which a man would wish for in a wife.”

!!!!! Emma, open your eyes! Open your eyes!

Stay tuned.

Mr. Knightley: EMMA, Vol. II

Reading Emma has been hard going: there’s not a page that self doesn’t have to re-read (sentences so long!). Now, however, she’s developing quite an interest in the character of Mr. Knightley.

Emma’s sister, Isabella, is married to his brother John, making “Mr. Knightley” Emma’s brother-in-law. Mr. Knightley is 16 years older than Emma, and his presence in her life is that of benign older brother (It is a little hard for self to wrap her mind around Mr. Knightley as a romantic partner for Emma. If for nothing else than that humongous age gap!).

Emma and Mr. Knightley had their little tiffs in Vol. I, but he doesn’t remain angry at her and by the end of Vol. I they are on speaking terms again.

In Vol. II, with the appearance of a “stranger” — Frank Churchill — into Emma’s little world of Highbury, Mr. Knightley (he is never anything other than “Mr. Knightley” to Emma) suddenly appears in opposition:

  • There was one person among his new acquaintance in Surry, not so leniently disposed. In general he was judged, throughout the parishes of Donwell and Highbury, with great candour; liberal allowances were made for the little excesses of such a handsome young man — one who smiled so often and bowed so well; but there was one spirit among them not to be softened, from its power of censure, by bows or smiles — Mr. Knightley . . .  for the moment he was silent; but Emma heard him almost immediately afterwards say to himself, over a newspaper he held in his hand, “Hum! just the trifling, silly fellow I took him for.’ She had half a mind to resent; but an instant’s observation convinced her that it was really said only to relieve his own true feelings; and not meant to provoke; and therefore she let it pass.

Self can hardly wait for Mr. Knightley, Emma, and Frank Churchill to begin quarreling with each other!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Emma Reflects on Mr. Elton’s Character: Vol. I Chapter XVI

It was dreadfully mortifying; but Mr. Elton was proving himself, in many respects, the very reverse of what she had meant and believed him; proud, assuming, conceited; very full of his own claims, and little concerned about the feelings of others.

Contrary to the usual course of things, Mr. Elton’s wanting to pay his addresses to her had sunk him in her opinion. His professions and his proposals did him no service. She thought nothing of his attachment, and was insulted by his hopes. He wanted to marry well, and having the arrogance to raise his eyes to her, pretended to be in love; but she was perfectly easy as to his not suffering any disappointment that need be cared for. There had been no real affection either in his language or manners. Sighs and fine words had been given in abundance; but she could hardly divine any set of expressions, or fancy any tone of voice, less allied with real love.


(Just looked up the movie version of Emma. Mr. Elton is played by the very fine Alan Cumming! Oh, inspired!)

portrait-mr-elton-volunteer-frame-london.jpg

emmas-painting-of-harriet-smith.jpg

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mr. Elton Explains To Emma Why He Is Not Interested in Harriet Smith

“Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be very happy to see her respectably settled. I wish her extremely well: and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to — Everybody has their level. But as for myself, I am not, I think, quite so much at a loss. I need not so totally despair of an equal alliance, as to be addressing myself to Miss Smith!”

Translation: Miss Smith is beneath me!

So annoyed does Mr. Elton become with Emma for assuming he likes Miss Smith that, as soon as the carriage arrives at the Vicarage, he is out “before another syllable passed.”

What a boor!

Stay tuned.

How Mr. Elton’s Proposal Is Received: EMMA, Book I Chapter XV

Emma, riding alone with Mr. Elton in a carriage (What is wrong with these people? Don’t they know how unseemly it is for a young, unmarried woman to be riding alone in a carriage with a young, single man, late at night? Self would like to have a word with Mr. Woodhouse, Emma’s father!)

Emma to Mr. Elton: Mr. Elton, my astonishment is much beyond any thing I can express. After such behaviour, as I have witnessed during the last month, to Miss Smith — such attentions as I have been in the daily habit of observing — to be addressing me in this manner — this is an unsteadiness of character, indeed, which I had not supposed possible! Believe me, sir, I am far, very far, from gratified in being the object of such professions.

In other words, Emma declines Mr. Elton’s proposal.

She then goes on to say — since Mr. Elton is rather, shall we say, dense — “I have no thoughts of matrimony at present.”

lol

lol

lol

Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge — Letter D

Love doing Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges!

The Theme for this week is the Letter D.

D is for DECK:

DSCN0548

8th Floor, Whitney Museum of American Art, Gansevoort Street, New York City: The view from the rooftop café is simply fabulous.

D is for DOTS:

DSCN0536

Alexander Calder at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 8th Floor

D is for (Remember the) DATE:

DSCN0445

Billboard, New York City, Early September 2017

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Matt Zoller Seitz Reviews “Love & Friendship” (Another of Self’s Favorite Movies of 2016)

Really nice review. Read it in http://www.rogerebert.com.

Kudos to Director Whit Stillman, lead Kate Beckinsale, and Xavier Samuel, who plays the man Beckinsale’s character sets her sights on.

  • “Love & Friendship feels like it was inevitable. The director Whit Stillman adapting Jane Austen is one of those ideas that sounds like it’s made up because it’s so perfect, like Wes Anderson announcing that he’s going to make an animated film about foxes based on a book by Roald Dahl.”
  • “Stillman’s films are comedies of manners . . .  the more brazen or ambitious characters run roughshod over people who have, well, manners.”
  • The main character, Susan, “is distinguished by her audacity, not just in her wants and desires but in the way she talks to other people, turning subtext into text in a way most people would not do unless the person they were talking about was in another room, or another state. But they’re standing right there! And they can’t get their minds around how staggeringly rude and entitled Susan is — most of all Reginald, who’s played with great precision by Samuel as a decent man who is so stunned by Susan’s nerve that he can barely bring himself to reprimand her: he’s too busy marveling at her existence.”

In addition, self is looking forward to seeing the following films, hopefully in the next few weeks:

  • Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson
  • Paul Verhoeven’s Elle
  • Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences
  • Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea
  • Disney’s Moana

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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