Movie Mom

This is a very special contest with not one but two utterly delectable DVD sets, both series based on classic books and both originally shown on PBS.

Emma (2009) is based on the novel by Jane Austen (already filmed with Gwyneth Paltrow and adapted for “Clueless” with Alicia Sliverstone). It is the story of a rich and beautiful young woman who gets into trouble when she tries to arrange the lives of those around her. This luminous new version stars Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller, with Michael Gambon as Emma’s father.

Cranford This gorgeous collection includes both the original miniseries and the sequel, Return to Cranford. Both are based on the Elizabeth Gaskell novels set in the mid-1800’s. The title town is a small traditional English village and the story is a gentle but candid look at the lives of the women in particular as they deal with love, loss, and changes large and small. Sisters Deborah and Matilda Jenkyns (Eileen Atkins and Judi Dench), and their young and slightly more worldly relative Miss Smith (Lisa Dillon) are the kind and understanding center of a community that is sometimes gossipy or prejudiced. Part of its charm is seeing the town adapt to modern ideas and technologies that are both thrilling and terrifying, like the techniques of the new town doctor and the coming of the railroad. The wonderful cast includes Imelda Stanton and Francesca Annis.

TO ENTER: Send an email to with Emma/Cranford in the title and answer this question: Who is your favorite Jane Austen character and why? Three winners will be randomly chosen from all eligible entries received before midnight eastern time on February 12. (Legal blah blah below)

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