Monday, June 27, 2011

Poll Results, the Villain in Emma, and More

The poll closed quite a while ago, and I didn't get around to doing this until now, but here are the results for:
"Which Jane Austen story most needs another movie?"
Winner: Mansfield Park (5 votes)
Tie for second: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion (4 votes each)
Sense and Sensibility got 2 votes.

I voted for Mansfield Park. I also would greatly appreciate another version of Northanger Abbey, and in short, I'd enjoy another of any of them, even Pride and Prejudice or Emma. Especially P.&P. out of those two - I really love the 1995 version, but it could still be done better, but nothing would be equal to the book.

Claire Foy as Fanny Price?
So, new Mansfield Park movie? When I was reading the book, I could really picture Claire Foy in the roll of Fanny Price. Her character reminds me of Amy Dorrit, and I thought she did it really well. Actually, with brown colored contacts, she could make a good Mary Crawford, too. Mary is supposed to be small, pretty, and have dark hair & eyes. 

What do you think? Would she suit either of those roles? I focus more on characters than actors, so I don't have any other ideas. Do any actors come to your mind who could make a good Mansfield Park character?

Yesterday I posted about the M.P. movies there are so far, and I said I thought there should be a new BBC mini-series. Miss Laurie, Abby and I were commenting about how screenwriters Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice 1995, Sense and Sensibility 2008) or Sandy Welch (Emma 2009, North and South 2004) could do a good adaptation. I'd vote for Sandy Welch - what do you think?

Lizzy wins again! ;-)
A bit of a rabbit trail, that. Now, for the other poll that just closed:
"Which Jane Austen heroine is your favorite?"
Winner: Elizabeth Bennet (8 votes)
Anne Elliot (4 votes)
Catherine Morland,
Emma Woodhouse,
Marianne Dashwood (2 votes each)
Elinor Dashwood (1 vote)

And, the new poll!
I was thinking about the villains in Jane Austen novels - John Willoughby, George Wickham, Henry Crawford, etc., but I couldn't figure out who the villain is in Emma! Is there one? What do you think?
After a whirlwind of Emma, Frank Churchill started to drive me crazy. What a jerk, and an arrogant jerk at that. It’s not quite like the book, but I liked what Emma said in the 2009 mini-series:
“Why did he come amongst us, engaged, and then pretend to be so very un-engaged?...I was not in love with him; but how was he supposed to know that? How could Jane bear it – waiting for him, and looking on while he gave attentions to another woman? No wonder she cannot stand the sight of me! It’s so unlike what a man should be - no truth, no principle, no integrity. Badly done indeed!”
Pretending to be interested in one woman just to conceal your attachment to another is not only deceitful but cruel. And then on top of that, he critisizes Jane Fairfax all over the place, just to remove suspicion! If I were Jane, I’d have pitched him. Ha!
But…is he really a villain?
If you wouldn't mind scooting over a little...
Maybe I shouldn’t have called Frank Churchill arrogant when I was planning to talk about Mr. Elton next. He is arrogant. I love Mr. Knightley’s quote from the 2009 mini-series: “That man is so full of himself, I’m surprised he can stay on that horse.” I doubt many clergymen caught girls with 30,000 pounds very often, but Mr. Elton thought he could. He didn’t, of course, and settled for 10,000 instead. I never liked him, but his behavior at the ball is always very maddening, when he refuses to dance with Harriet. (It makes it all the lovlier, though when Mr. Knightley comes to her rescue.)
So they’re both jerks, but is either one a villain? And which one is more so?

Who is the villain in Emma?
-Frank Churchill
-Mr. Elton
-There is no "villain"

The poll is on the sidebar!

~On a side note, Emma seemed unlike Jane Austen's other novels in that there were no very sad parts (such as deaths and broken hearts) or scandals (unless you count a secret engagement!).

June 28: A few of my readers have said Emma was the villain in Emma. This is an interesting point of view, but even if it were possible to change th poll, I wouldn't because (1) Emma is a girl and (2) to me, she doesn't seem to be any more villainous than the other two options. But, I really enjoyed Maria Elisabeth/Miss Darcy's post about it - to read it, click here (where you can find nearly all my thoughts on the subject; I went a little long when I commented on her post.)


Charity U said...

Hmmm...good point about an Emma villain or lack there-of. I think a new "Mansfield Park" is a must. There's no version I really like...especially now that that one version has Elton as the main guy. :P

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

I would agree that both Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey both need a another movie. I've never seen any Mansfield Park movie, but from what I've heard the '99(?) and 2007 versions weren't close to the book. With Northanger Abbey, I liked the 2007 version, but there were either a lot of things that they included and shouldn't have or a lot that they left out that they didn't have to.

Again, I've never seen/read Mansfield Park, but from what I've heard around about Fanny, I think Claire Foy could be a successful Fanny.

As far as the villian in Emma goes, I think probably Mr. Elton comes the closest to being a villian. He was deliberately a jerk while I think with Frank Churchill he was kind of stuck and didn't really have many options open to him (not to condone his behavior, but he seemed "less" bad compared to Mr. Elton).

Sorry for the long comment. :-)

Melody said...

Indeed! =)

Miss Elizabeth,
No, they weren't (and especially the one from 1999), but I won't talk about that since I did a whole post about it yesterday! haha.

That's a good point. Although, carrying on a secret engagement because you fear your aunt's disapproval and then pretending to be interested in one woman when really you're trying to disguise your interest in a different one...that's very "deliberate"; I suppose not dilberately being a jerk, though.

One thing I just thought of, is that Mr. Elton was sort of punished for his misdeeds by being married to Augusta, whereas Frank ended up with exactly the wife he wanted, and a sweet one at that. But, Mr. and Mrs. Elton DID seem to suit each other. ;-) Two peas in a pod, as they say.
I still haven't voted...

Jane said...

I don't like the word "villain," but the antagonist in Emma is probably... Emma.

Think about it. The antagonist is the person or thing that is in opposition to the protagonist. The basic conflict in Emma is Emma vs. herself. Every obstacle that occurs is because she is oblivious... completely clueless about what is best for her friends and about how she really feels.

Jane said...

Oh, and I agree about there needing to be another adaptation of Mansfield Park. It's a really hard one to adapt because the main character is so shy, but I think it could be done.

I think filmmakers don't understand that you can be introverted and quiet but still be a really strong person. That's how I see Fanny. You would have to pick an actress who can portray a lot with facial expressions to keep Fanny interesting. The thought of it kinda makes me wish I were a filmmaker.

Abby said...

As to who is the villain in Emma, that's a tough question! I've always felt a little bit sorry for Frank Churchill: I never thought he really meant to hurt anyone. Although he definitely did make some big mistakes, I don't think he intended his actions in a malicious way, which is what makes someone a villain for me (see Wickham, Willoughby etc.)
But then, Mr. Elton, doesn't really cause any main problems in the story, whereas Frank does.

I guess you could say Frank is the antagonist, althought I'm not sure if he's a villain exactly :) So out of the two I'd say him, if there is a villain at all...


P.S I just read Jane's comment and I absolutely agree with what you said, both about Fanny's character and Emma being the villain - I'd never considered that before! But you're right, she does cause most of the problems in the novel by her matchmaking and so on :)

Maria Elisabeth said...

Hi Melody,
Here's my thoughts on it:
I posted it before I read Jane's comment, but I completely agree with her.
-Maria Elisabeth

Melody said...

Well, that is one way of looking at it. ;-)
Then again, if there was no Mr. Elton or Frank Churchill, she wouldn't have as many problems... and neither would Harriet, or Mr. Knightley...

I know, sometimes I wish I was a flimmaker, too...then I could make movies really close to the book!

What about Henry Crawford? Do you think he was acting in a malicious way? I would say he's definitely a villain and more so than Frank or Mr. Elton, but he's not exactly like Wickham, say.

Anyone who's reading this,
I've been thinking about something else - usually, with the villains in Jane Austen's novels, it's someone the heroine either thought well of or was interested in before they found out his true character. Looking at it that way, I'd say Frank Churchill matches the description better...

And I still haven't decided. :P

Melody said...

About Emma being the villain(ess):
I commentend on Miss Georgiana's post with my thoughts on that subject. ;-)

Marian said...

I voted for Mr Elton. Granted, he's not a traditional villain, but he's terribly rude and selfish, especially for someone who's supposed to be the Christian leader in his community.

Frank, on the other hand, had good intentions; he just carried them out in the wrong way. His behavior is more understandable if you compare him with another bachelor like Mr Bingley...Frank's aunt might have thought it suspicious if he didn't appear interested in finding a wife. Thus, to avoid the Mrs Bennets in his life, Frank over-did the acting. Again, I don't approve of what he did, but he seems more innocent to me.

About broken hearts in Emma...Harriet did get her heart broken, and twice. :(

I personally loved MP 2007; I'm pretty introverted, and I thought Piper did a great job, given the time-frame and script. I'd prefer to see another Persuasion, with more in-depth portrayal of the main characters.

Wow, this is a long comment...sorry!

Melody said...

I asked my dad what he thought yesterday, and he made a good point - Frank Churchill prentend to be something he was not, whereas Mr. Elton didn't; and deception like that seems villainous.

That is true, I guess I just didn't think about Harriet because she wasn't one of the *main* main characters, and it wasn't as severe as, say, Marianne. But what I generally meant was, there aren't any circumstances in the book that would make it over G-rated. ;-)

Quick did you do the italic?

I'd like to see another Pesuasion, as well. There are things I like better about both versions - so it would be nice to have one where the good parts were combined! :) (For instance, I like the Anne from 1995 and the Wentworth from 2007.)

That's quite all right! I love long comments. :)

Melody said...

Oops! Should have checked my comment--I meant 'pretended', of course.

Mel said...

Interesting thought. I agree with those who have already said that Emma is essentially her own villian. Even if there wasn't a Mr Elton or a Frank Churchill, Emma would have still been Emma.

I sort of think that both Mr Elton and Frank are villains. They both come across as villains to me so I would say "both" because I can not say that one was more villainous than the other, they were both so different, but still both villains:)

My thoughts are exactly what you said that your dad said, Frank was deceitful- and I believe he knew exactly what he was doing. I agree it was an unfair situation that he was in, but no one forced him to lie.
On the subject of Mr Elton, I wrote a series upon villains a few months ago, if your interested you can find what I wrote about him here: :)

another great post I really enjoyed this :)


Melody said...

It's funny how everyone has different views of what a villain is. I guess if one considers Emma a 'villain' than a villain is just someone who makes trouble. ;-) But at least Emma learnt her lessons and was determined to improve herself - and to 'deserve' Mr. Knightley. (Somehow I keep bringing Mr. Knightley into conversations... hmm....)

Maybe F.C. and Mr E. combined makes a villain! haha And I was thinking along the lines of them both being villains t'other day - I was thinking, if there's ever a 'worst villain' tournament, they should both be in there.

I read what you said about Mr. Elton - it seems that a lot of times the villains are punished, and looking at it that way, Mr. Elton would be the villain. (He was punished in a similar way that Wickham was! ha)

I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you for commenting! :)

Melody said...

Hmm...I wish I could edit these comments - I need to get in the habit of checking them.
I should say: '...then a villain is one who makes trouble'. (Change 'than' to 'then' and take away the 'just', haha)

Mel said...

Haha! I agree there needs to be an "edit" option, I make so many mistakes too :)

It really is exactly as you said, it comes down to the opinion of the individual, everyone has different 'requirements' for a villain it seems.
Ohh and then when you are comparing one villain to another it can make it so hard! Like if Mr. Elton is a villain what does that make P&P's Mr. Collins? a villain too? or are there different degrees of villainess? (okay I know that makes no sense but I hope you understand what I am saying) haha, it really does open up all these other questions.

Oh and thinking about it a little more I personally would class Emma as a *dare I say it* Anti-hero or Anti-heroine in her case.

Melody said...

I was thinking exactly that, about Mr. Collins!! In fact I almost said something about it! Although Mr. Elton probably had some more brains than Mr. Collins - Mr Collins is supposed to be more foolish, I think.

Yes, how dare you? haha ;-) Everyone is being so mean to Emma! I like Emma. More than I used to. :P
Besides, if she did tend a little towards anti-heroinism, she became a regular heroine by the end, =)
And Emma, well, she was deceiving herself, but she really did mean well, or thought she did.

Would you rather hear the story...

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