Emma Movie review & film summary

This originally aired on February 21 and is being re-aired due to its early VOD release.

Emma Woodhouse was all over the place for two years in the mid-1990s. The first was Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless,” a modern-day classic set in 1990s Beverly Hills and based on Jane Austen’s 1815 masterpiece. The following year, two versions were released, one on film with Gwyneth Paltrow and the other on television with Kate Beckinsale (a superb performer for this type of material; see Whit Stillman’s “Love & Friendship,” based on a storey Austen penned when she was 14). There was a BBC mini-series adaption about ten years ago. You’d think we’d be Emma-ed out by this point. That is not the case. The new adaptation, directed by Autumn de Wilde and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, is out, and it’s fantastic!

Emma may live alone with her father (Bill Nighy) on a massive estate, but her world is very crowded. Harriet (Mia Goth), an orphaned child of unknown origin boarding at a local girls’ school, has been “taken on” by her. Harriet develops a crush on Mr. Martin, a humble widowed farmer (Connor Swindells), and her affections for him are reciprocated based on their encounters. Emma can’t take it anymore (a farmer? “As if!” says Cher in “Clueless,” and Harriet is thrown at the vicar, a smarmy Mr. Elton (Josh O’Connor). Mr. Elton falls for Emma instead of Harriet, and the plan fails spectacularly. There’s more to come.

Emma Movie review & film summary

There’s always something going on in Austen.) Emma is unattached, although she is drawn to a man who is affluent and about to become even wealthier, Frank Churchill (Callum Turner), who is wealthy and about to become even wealthier. Emma’s plans are thrown into a wrench when Jane Fairfax (Amber Anderson), the niece of a local widow (Miranda Hart), floats into town, soaking up all the male admiration and aggravating Emma. Emma is a sassy brat. Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn), on the other hand, sees right through Emma. She can’t “put on airs” with him because they’ve known each other since childhood. He’s not going to let it happen. He notices what she’s doing and finds it repulsive. He confronts her about it.

Matchmaking is a difficult task. It necessitates delicacy and refinement. It will most certainly necessitate the assistance of a specialist. When left in the hands of eager amateurs, matchmaking frequently results in heartbreak. Jane Austen was all too aware of this dynamic, and in Emma, her final novel, she introduces us to an enthusiastic and confident matchmaker, although one who is completely inept. Emma believes she knows best, but she actually causes disaster. Emma, unlike the bulk of Austen’s heroines, is wealthy and, hence, has no pressing desire to marry. She seemed completely uninterested in the issue.

Emma Movie review & film summary

In Autumn de Wilde takes an exquisite and comic approach to this storey of frantic and intricate social activities. The ability to capture (or even express) charm is one of the most difficult characteristics to master, yet there is genuine charm here. The performances are all great, with each actor giving their roles depth and nuance (even the hovering footmen, who never say a word, clearly have feelings towards the people they serve). Keep an eye on what happens in the background of situations. The jokes set up at the start of the movie (such as the routine with the fire screen) pay off big in the last scene. This type of thing necessitates a great deal of attention to detail, a careful and deliberate collection of small elements that build up to the unmistakable impression that those palatial houses are inhabited by living, breathing eccentrics.

One of today’s best new actors, Taylor-Joy, doesn’t try to make us like Emma, and she doesn’t try to soften Emma’s selfishness. She makes no attempt to be cute. Austen was well aware that, with the exception of herself, no one would “like” Emma. Instead, we see a lady who jumps headlong into disaster for reasons that she isn’t even aware of. Johnny Flynn, a singer-songwriter-actor (who will play David Bowie in the upcoming film “Stardust”), is fantastic as Jane Austen’s romantic lead. Knightley is self-sufficient, a tad lethargic, and a tad grumpy. He, like Emma, is self-obsessed. When he knocks Emma down a notch (as he does over and over), he exudes such conviction that the audience holds their breath, especially when it’s obscenely clear that these two prickly individuals should get it over with and kiss each other as soon as possible.

Emma Movie review & film summary

Autumn de Wilde is a photographer and director of music videos and video shorts with a busy schedule. This is her first role, and she approaches it with aplomb, assurance, and a refreshing air of boldness. To create a bold vision and style, cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, costume designer Alexandra Byrne, and production designer Kave Quinn collaborated on “Emma.

” The needle drops—traditional English songs thrumming across the green landscape—are perfectly placed, and it all feeds into the film’s thematic and textual concerns, highlighting not only the artificiality of Regency society (its pretensions, colours, and textures), but also the swirling undercurrents of human emotion, which the surfaces desperately try to hide and/or suppress. The headgear on the heads of the women resembles gigantic carnivorous birds. Schoolgirls dressed in crimson hooded cloaks march across town like Little Red Riding Hoods (or Margaret Atwood’s Handmaids) in unison.

Emma Movie review & film summary

There was that constant communication between Barton and Delaford that strong family affection would naturally require, and among the merits and happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be overlooked that, despite being sisters and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreeing with each other or producing coolness between their husbands.

Austen, thy name is ambivalence. De Wilde is very aware of this. Her cast is aware of this. Emma’s uncertainty about marriage is mostly unmentioned, despite the fact that it is the proverbial elephant in the room. Emma and Mr. Knightley (as well as Taylor-Joy and Flynn) have enough sexual chemistry and romantic chemistry to brighten up even the most depressing estates.Perhaps such heat is worth waiting for.

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