It's long been disputed by Janeites which adaptations more closely follow the story lines of the Austen novels. Below is the list of my own personal favorite adaptations and the ones that I believe are filmed in the spirit of Jane Austen and are the most faithful to her novels.
While updating some of the language and movements of the characters this miniseries has an overwhelming amount of good points that closely follow Emma. I also love the casting, costumes, settings and music in this beautiful film!
Although this older miniseries is long and does not have am many beautiful sets as other adaptations it is very well cast and scripted and is the only adaptation to date that tells the whole story of Mansfield Park while faithfully capturing Fanny Price's character.
As this is my favorite Austen novel I have a hard time recommending any adaptation without first saying "please, read the novel!". This newer adaptation is beautiful and has a lovely cast. It does not however tell the whole story of Northanger Abbey as faithfully as I could wish, especially in the casting and portraying of the character of Henry Tilney.
This is my favorite Jane Austen adaptation because it has it all! There are beautiful costumes, gorgeous settings, extremely talented and well cast actors, and a beautifully written script. Most importantly is the overall feeling and spirit of this adaptation that they really understand the time period and Jane Austen.
This well-loved miniseries is loved for a reason - it's simply the best! With much time to develop the plot of Pride & Prejudice and to really get to know the characters, amazingly talented and well cast actors, gorgeous costumes and settings, and delightful dances and music. This is the quintessential Jane Austen adaptation!
I always have a hard time deciding which version is my favorite and often come back to the older Sense & Sensibility (1981) adaptation as a faithful and gentle adaptation. But for an even fuller and much more beautiful and well cast adaptation take a look at this newer miniseries. Besides the scandalous first scene "the seduction of Eliza", the film continues well to the very end and includes scenes and characters commonly left out of other adaptations. A scrumptious bit of period drama!
If you're looking for a biopic of the authoress then you'll definitely want to see this TV film on the life of Miss Austen. Delightfully cast, beautiful settings and costumes and no fanciful or made-up bits like those in other films (i.e. Becoming Jane), this is Jane Austen at her best and brightest seen just before her last days.
Unfortunately no film adaptations of this short story written in letters is available to date. But besides reading it yourself I highly recommend this lovely audiobook recording! It's almost as good as watching a film!