Emma | Kilburnlad | Film | Reviews



This period drama invites us to imagine what life was like for the well-to-do in the days of Jane Austen, whose books have been the go-to read for so many women over the years. For many, therefore, Emma needs no introduction. A wealthy young woman with too much time on her hands who delights in organising the love lives of her friends. However, her meddling doesn't always result in the outcome that she envisaged. In fact one could say it causes more harm than good.

It appears that Austen set out to make Emma an unlikeable heroine and Anya Taylor-Joy in this adaptation does a good job of playing out Austen's wishes. She has a humble companion, Harriet Smith, who is in awe of her. Harriet is humiliated when Emma's matchmaking proves to be a cruel illusion, while her true love had previously been rejected on the basis of Emma's poisoned advice.

But there is also much humour. Emma's father, played by Bill Nighy provides much of it. Miranda Hart as the annoying Miss Bates also brings some wry smiles until, that is, Emma delivers what is probably her most hurtful retort of the film. And, of course, there is romance. Emma, despite her dismissal of any interest in male suitors, proves not to be immune from cupid's arrow. Well, it is Jane Austen after all!

Sumptuously filmed.

Guardian review
Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 85%: Audiences 76%

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