"Really? I guess I like scary men, I loved his Mr. Knightley! I think he must be a little scary, otherwise his scolding of Emma would be inefficient; she does improve under his influence, althgouh she is a self-confident, stubborn girl. He needs t be impressive, in order to overpower her absolute belief that she's always right."
Perhaps it's a preference, but what I saw on the screen was a parent-child relationship, not a relationship of equals. Knightley would scowl, and Emma would cower. Or be defensive, which isn't much better. That might be ok for a while, but I would soon be sick of a man always correcting me, especially in such a strident way. Sure, we all need to grow and learn, and I don't mind an occasional "honey, you could have handled that better," but yeesh, quit your bitchin' already (my words to George Knightley, not to you).
Considering Emma's relationship with her father in which she takes the upper hand, I think that is Jane Austen's point exactly. Emma needs to be handled by a strong man. We certainly don't see things that way in the 21st century.
Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?