If you take a closer look at the poster, you’ll find the background is drawn. Honestly, it took me very long before I figured this out. It’s almost af if it’s trying to draw the attention to the characters, not the scenery. Look here, the poster says. Look at her.
Emma is the first big project of director Autumn de Wilde (“The Postman Dreams”, “Jenny And Johnny: Big Wave”), but the movie immediately hits all the right notes. The movie is reminiscent of the work of Wes Anderson, with the use of symmetrical shots and pastel colours. It’s a joy to behold such a movie with steady and beautiful shots, so masterfully told.
As the title suggests, the movie is about Emma Woodhouse, played by Anya Taylor-Joy (“Split”, “The Witch”). She’s an aristocratic girl who has nothing to worry about, least of all men and marriage.
Her troubles start when she tries to set up her friend Harriet to the local vicar. It doesn’t go the way she had planned. A handsome stranger arrives in town, and turns heads everywhere.
How will she deal with all these changes in her life? And will she chose for her old friend George Knightley, played by Johnny Flynn (“Crusade in Jeans”, “Cordelia”), or the handsome stranger, Frank Churchhill, played by Callum Turner (“Assassin’s Creed“, “Green Room“)?
Anya Taylor-Joy is absolutely delightful in the role of Emma. She’s supported by a magnificent cast of people, with Bill Nighy (“Love Actually”, “Hot Fuzz“) playing her father, Mr. Woodhouse. He gets ample opportunity to show his comedic chops, and I am very happy I got to see this side of him. He stole the scene every time he was on the screen.
Miranda Hart (“Call The Midwife”, “Spy”) also deserves a mention. I thought she was playing to her strengths for a little while, but she is absolutely crucial to the development of Emma as a character. Honestly, Miranda shows us she can do funny, annoying and touching, often at the same time. A very fine performance indeed.
The humor in this movie is very British. It’s not brash but subtle. It’s all in the awkwardness and the looks. Honestly, it’s adorable. There were frequent moments where people laughed very loudly in the theatre, and nobody minded.
The movie looks beautiful, the costumes are stunning, and the story is timeless. It’s nothing surprising, you know what you’re getting when you walk through those doors. But isn’t that why we go? Don’t we all wish we were Emma, sheltered from the harsh realities and choices in life?
And one day, we’d find out that the person we love, was right there all along. No bills, no harsh voices telling us to keep it down, no promises not kept. Just pastel colours and estates. If that seems like a world you’d like to be in for 2 hours, head on down to the cinema and lose yourself in Emma’s story.
This is a very predictable movie. All Jane Austen movies are a little bit the same, and you know exactly what you’re getting when you go and see one. A beautiful movie and a beautiful story. I think that with this version, you’re getting a little extra. Something that wasn’t written on the tin. One thing is certain. You’re going to enjoy it.
14th February 2020
Autumn de Wilde
THE QUICK SELL
The age-old story of a young woman finally realising who she belongs with.