Film Review: Emma • Glam Adelaide

Film Review: Emma

Autumn de Wilde directs this lavish new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

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With a fantastic all-star British cast – Bill Nighy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Johnny Flynn, Callum Turner, Mia Goth, Rupert Graves – Emma adapts beautifully for our screen.  

Emma Woodhouse is 21 years old and has no interest in her own love life, so she likes to interfere with everyone else’s. Even if the suiter isn’t her friend’s first choice, but love knows best. 

The heroine isn’t very likable in true Austen style, she’s very manipulative, vain, inconsiderate, arrogant, unfeeling, spoilt and mean. But everyone in town holds her in high esteem.  

Her doe-eyed best friend Harriet Smith is very innocent and likeable. She is in love with a farmer Robert Martin (Conner Swindells), but Emma makes her turn down his marriage proposal. She is intent on matching Harriet with proud local vicar Mr Elton, played by Josh O’Connor, as she is convinced they are a perfect match.  

Emma’s combative brother in law Mr Knightly played by Johnny Flynn, manages to make her feel empathy for people when she can be so cruel with her words, and the on-screen chemistry between them is seductive. 

The movie is beautifully filmed, and the locations are excellently sourced, showing the picturesque British countryside which looks marvellous. Grand houses indicative of the era with decadent rooms are aplenty and the costumes are sumptuous.   

Some characters stand out mostly due to the fine acting. Bill Nighy as Emma’s father played up the part to great effect and provided lots of brief moments of gentle humour.  

Miranda Hart was the perfect person to play Miss Bates and showed she is very good at showing emotion. When at a picnic Emma insults her and she was clearly mortified. Yet when Emma later apologises, she is visibly eager to remain friends.  

Mia Goth who plays Miss Smith also shone as she portrayed a young impressionable girl who is easily swayed by Emma.  

The main character is beautifully portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy as a bored young lady who feels she is good at directing other people’s lives. She is not a very likeable character but in true Austen style it all ends well.  

Reviewed by Gemma Crossland.

SUMPTUOUS 3.5 stars

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