Monday, February 18, 2019

My Favorite Jane Austen Adaptations!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be talking about my favorite Jane Austen adaptations. I'll be the first to admit that I have not seen every Jane Austen adaptation, and honestly, it might be impossible. People are still inspired by the author today, and there are countless adaptations out there.

Last semester, I took a class focusing wholly on Austen and her novels. We read Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and some of her stories she wrote as a teenager. We also watched adaptions based on these stories, except for Persuasion because we ran out of time. 

Without further ado, here are my favorite Jane Austen adaptations, in no particular order.

Clueless (1995)

It wasn't until this class that I realized that Clueless was a loose adaptation of Emma. I've seen this movie before as a young teenager, but watching it more recently was wonderful. I actually forgot a lot about the plot (the only thing I remembered was Cher's closet, tbh) and it was so fun to see a modern take on Emma. Alicia Silverstone is amazing as Cher. She perfectly embodies a spoiled rich girl who wants to do good but has no perspective. I think Cluless is a classic, and it has managed to remain timeless despite it's 1990s release.

Pride and Prejudice (2005)  

I feel like this is everyone's favorite Jane Austen adaptation, and I get it. The directing is so well done, and the shots are beautiful. While the movie can veer on cheesy (the ending where they are walking through a field, anyone?), I think the movie really encapsulates the core of Jane Austen's novel. 

Pride and Prejudice (1940) 

At least among my peers, not many people have seen the 1940 Pride and Prejudice in comparison to the 2005 version. However, I really enjoy this one, but for completely different reasons. While the 2005 film is so dramatic, this 1940 version is filled with the humor and wit we find in Jane Austen's novel. While there might be added scenes, (a scene between Elizabeth and Darcy with arrows, for instance) I don't think they detracted from the source material. Some of Jane Austen's adaptations can be so serious, and this was a surprisingly humorous one with a wonderful performance by Greer Garson.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

I think I'm due for a re-watch of 1995's Sense and Sensibility, featuring Kate Winslet as Marianne and Emma Thomspon as Elinor. Though Emma Thompson does look a little too old to be playing a  19 year old, the performances are spot on. I already shipped Marianne with Colonel Brandon when reading the book, but this film made me root for them even more! Is there anything more romantic that Brandon paying so much attention to Marianne that he hands her a cricket ball just when she needs one? Let the swooning begin. Also, this film made me feel empathy for Willoughby, which I thought was impossible. 
Emma (2009)

Last but not least is the BBC production of Emma, released in 2009. This production of Emma is my favorite. Unlike everything else on this list, this production is actually a mini series of 4 (?) episodes. The performances are spot on, the pacing is just right (a mini series allows none of your favorite scenes to be cut), and the writing is fantastic. When I finished the mini series, I literally re-watched the last episode all over again. It is just SO good. If you have yet to watch this, I highly recommend it! Honestly, this is what a perfect Jane Austen adaptation looks like. 

So those are my favorite Jane Austen adaptations! Have you seen any of them? What did you think? What are some of your favorite Jane Austen adaptions? 

I've seen other adaptations, like the 1999 Mansfield Park and The Lizzie Bennett Diaries to name a couple, but they just didn't cut the list. I would love to know what your favorites are! Like I said before, there are many that I have not watched. I hope to watch some more BBC productions soon. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. Clueless is SUCH a good movie - I love it! I really need to watch the BBC adaptation of Emma - it looks so good!

    1. It's so fun! Honestly, I really want to watch it right this second based on the day I'm having, lol.

      BIG yes to the BBC adaptation of Emma. It's perfection <3

  2. I haven't seen Clueless in ages - I'm going to have to rewatch it. :)

  3. I had no idea that Clueless is an adaptation of Emma. I have to confess that the only Austen I've read is P&P, but it would be fun to read Emma and then watch Clueless to find the similarities. It's been years since I've seen the movie.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. It wasn't until I saw it on my syllabus for a class that I realized it was one. If I hadn't read Emma right before watching it though, I might not have realized! Thanks for stopping by Nicole. :)

  4. 1995 Sense and Sensibility all the way. Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon FOREVER. *swoon*