Emma. Film Review

Written by Kasey Chambers

Release Date: 13 February 2020
Rated PG – Mild Themes and Brief Nudity
125 minutes

All that is old is new again as adaptations of Dr Doolittle, Little Women and The Secret Garden grace our screens again in 2020. It’s little wonder then that we should find ourselves at an advance screening for Emma., the fifth film adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale of the meddling matchmaker, Emma Woodhouse. Autumn de Wilde’s directorial debut is scattered with moments of light-hearted comedy, visual splendour and a swoon-worthy Mr Knightley (played by Johnny Flynn).

Anya Taylor-Joy brings Emma’s headstrong haughtiness to light via a nuanced expression that reveals the intricacies of youthful overconfidence and the loneliness, anger and shame that at times lingers beneath the surface. Bill Nighy, Mia Goth and Miranda Hart are a superb supporting cast, balancing moments of brevity and raw humanity with aplomb.

Jane Austen may have described Emma Woodhouse as her “heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, however it is hard to not like de Wilde’s playful romp around the English countryside. Whilst this latest retelling is hardly revolutionary (surely, nothing will ever top Clueless for a reinterpretation!) it will make for a lovely night out with friends, or a classic introduction for your kiddo to the world of Jane Austen.

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