In 1800's England, a well-meaning but arrogant young woman
enjoys meddling in the love lives of her friends and acquaintances.
Directed by Autumn de Wilde
Written by Eleanor Catton
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth,
Josh O'Connor, Callum Turner, Miranda Hart, Amber Anderson, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Connor Swindells
Remake of 1996's Emma
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
I've never really considered stepping into the very niche subgenre of Jane Austen films. Emma was my first foray into the rich world of Victorian England's most lovelorn upper class lords and ladies. I didn't expect to get into the film the way I did, but it just goes to show the timelessness of her work. Emma is delightful, predictable yes, but ultimately delightful. It's the adaptation of the story that Austen fans have been waiting for.
Emma Woodhouse (Taylor-Joy) is a well-meaning but selfish young woman who enjoys matchmaking her friends and interfering in their love lives. She believes herself to be above marriage and doesn't notice the several men who are pursuing her. It plays out, as I said, pretty predictably and even if you've never seen an adaptation or read the story, it's pretty obvious who Emma will end up with. But the performances are endearing and cute, particularly Bill Nighy as Emma's father. After all, who doesn't enjoy a nice love story?
Jane Austen put the concept of the romantic comedy into mainstream culture by writing realistic female characters at a time when women were considered secondary. At the very least, her characters act for themselves and in their own self-interest, leading to many unforgettable stories. Emma is definitely one of these. It's a fine adaptation of a timeless story, and I think most people will find something to enjoy about it.