The television was once again my aide in the Everything Austen Challenge, hosted by Stephanie of Stephanie's Written Word. I got lucky and caught "Emma, " starring Gwyneth Paltrow, just as it was beginning. I really quite like this movie version of the book, although it is not my favorite adaptation.
Both Paltrow and Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley are terrific. Alan Cumming as Mr. Elliott is also quite good as the character is written for the movie, but his character is very different from the character in the book. Toni Collete, a fine Australian actress, is completely miscast as Harriet Smith. For one thing, she doesn't remotely pass as a 17-year-old. On the other hand, Sophie Thompson, as Miss Bates, is brilliant.
This is one of those movies I will watch any time it's on t.v. Although there are some alterations to the story, they don't distract from the tale. All in all, a beautiful rendition of Austen's story of young Emma Woodhouse's misguided matchmaking attempts and ultimate personal growth.