I feel like an outcast sometimes in the Jane Austen world, for I do NOT swoon over Fitzwilliam Darcy. I have watched the Pride & Prejudice 1995 and 2005 several times, coming out with the conclusion that I love Jennifer Ehle's Lizzy Bennet (THE Lizzy Bennet!) and I am swaying over Matthew Macfayden's Darcy (for he was so sensitive)... instead of Collin Firth's Darcy... but I'm not really into the saga of Lizzy and Darcy.
There, I've said that. Now sue me.
But on the other hand, I just recently realised how I love Mr. Knightley. The Jeremy Northam Knightley... the one in Emma 1996 (with the witty Gwyneth Palthrow). Not the Mark Strong one (many women would love Strong's Knightley... they can have him...). Jeremy's Knightley is such a sensitive person, but funny as well in his own right, and don't give the impression of someone with a toothache when you talk to him.
And here's some of my fave scenes in Emma 1996, involving Knightley:
1. When Knightley and Emma was talking in the Christmas party, and suddenly Mr. Elton just sat down between them... Jeremy's expression was too funny! And he also stifled his laughter when Mr. Elton tried to talk to Emma, though Emma obviously did not want to.
2. When Frank Churchill and Emma sang together... Knightley's jealousy was palpable, though he tried to hide it.
3. When Emma and Knightley was in the green house, and K said that he had news and that 'I know how you love news', and Emma wittily said, 'Oh yes, I always love news!' Their interaction is so cute!
4. Another ball, and that Mrs. Elton was 'taking care' of Jane Fairfax. And then Augusta Elton barked, 'Knightley!' and asked him to tell Jane how silly she was to walk in the rain. Knightley's expressions are sooo cute! I can watch the scene again and again just to see him there!
5. The ball again, where Harriet Smith did not have any partners at all... and Knightley swung over to take her to dance. He was such a genteel person there...
I just came to realise this... but I think I know why I think Knightley better than Darcy. I mean, Darcy helped tracking down Lydia... very honourable of him. But he partly did that for Elizabeth, which is of course understandable. But Knightley stood against Emma for Miss Bates (and for Emma's good as well), and he also helped Harriet without any agenda. Mr. Knightley is more down to earth to me...
Colonel Brandon is my other Austen hero. The Alan Rickman Brandon (Sense & Sensibility 1995). He's this sensitive soul, yet again... (and makes me love Severus Snape as well!).
As for Frank Churchill... let's face it. I love his voice. The Ewan McGregor one, I mean. His duet with Emma (Saw You Not My Lady) was superb!
Pic: Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley (Emma, 1996)
Pic 2: Emma (Gwyneth Palthrow) and Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam)