Des Emmas

It was Mark Kermode’s review of Emma. (Autumn de Wilde, 2020) that convinced me to give it a try when I really wanted to go see a movie yesterday (and it will probably be the last one I see in the theatre for a while).  The trailer for the film did not inspire any desire to see it, but I’m glad I watched it.



Douglas McGrath‘s 1996 Emma is one of my favorite period films.  I have never read a Jane Austen novel but have seen many of its film and TV adaptations.



I knew from the Emma. trailer that it would be an aesthetically pleasing experience and it does not disappoint at all in that department.  It is a stupendously beautiful film — the color palette, the costumes, the mise-en-scene all made me want to wear skirts and go take a walk.

Autumn De Wilde’s adaptation is very funny, just as Mark Kermode observed, and indeed, Emma is not that likable.  Ana Taylor-Joy plays the titular character as a know-it-all mean girl, whereas Gwyneth Paltrow‘s portrayal leaned toward the very well-meaning but misguided young lady.



The respective casts pair very well with the leading actresses.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like a Mr. Knightley who isn’t Jeremy Northam, but Johnny Flynn‘s Mr. Knightley complements his Emma and I believed that they would develop affection for each other.



Each film’s Harriet Smith goes well with its own Emma as well (Toni Collette and Mia Goth).



I prefer Emma.’s Mr. and Mrs. Elton (Josh O’Connor and Tanya Reynolds) over Emma‘s Mr. and Mrs. Elton (Alan Cumming and Juliet Stevenson).


While I like Ewan McGregor‘s Frank Churchill and the way he charms Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma, I prefer Callum Turner‘s Frank Churchill, probably because the hair is much better.


The pacing of Emma. is much faster than Emma, and I didn’t feel as though I were watching a film as much as an audiovisual illustration in the style of Whit Stillman‘s Love & Friendship (2016).

Here’s the 1996 Emma trailer:

One of my favorite scenes from the 1996 Emma:


And now I have to watch Emma for the twentieth time.  I forgot how funny Juliet Stevenson is in the 1996 version.


Pic creds: IMDB and screengrabs

1 thought on “Des Emmas

  1. Pingback: And Now for Tenet | Sitting Pugs: Sports Movies

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