Jane Austen is one of my favorite novelist, so anytime there is a screen adaptation of her work, I’m all in!
There have been at least four incarnations of Jane Austen’s novel brought to the big screen, not to mention the adaptation of Clueless which made a star out of Alicia Silverstone. So, why do we need yet another one? Three words…Anya Taylor-Joy.
Joy brings razor sharp edge to her rendition of Emma Woodhouse, the meddling younger daughter of an eccentric Dad (played by Bill Nighy), Emma believesitqs her mission to be arrange other people’s love lives, but when she steers her bestie Harriet Smith (Mia Goth), away from an adoring working-class farmer (Connor Swindells) and toward a clergy minister Mr. Elton (Josh O’Connor), Emma discovers the young man actually in interested in her. The tangled weaves continue as the handsome Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn) is in love with Emma despite his continuing hurling pf insults at her expense.
Autumn de Wilde’s feature directorial debut exquisitely captures the wit and sarcasm drippings of humor laden within the writing of Jane Austen. As understated and ridiculous as it is, a favorite comical moments is when Mr. Woodhouse (Bill Nighy) consistently has the staff shuffle screens to mask an imaginative window draft resulting in him exclaiming dialogue from behind them. Or, when Knightley and Emma meet under a tree to exclaim their affection for one another all the while playing the whole scene like they were trapped in a silent movie. Pure comedy. The use of church hymns to color the soundtrack is clever, as Emma is anything but saintly. With production design from Kave Quinn, gorgeous period costume design by Alexandra Byrne and breathtaking cinematography from Christopher Blauvelt allow the life and world of Emma Woodhouse to come alive in the most spectacular method.
As Harriet Smith, Mia Goth is sheer hysterical genius straddling the lines of comedy and drama to perfection and Myra McFadyen will break your heart as the ever so jolly, yet clueless Miss Bates.
Produced by Focus Features, EMMA hits screens today, February 21.