At school I found studying Jane Austen too difficult. Her use of language was impenetrable to me and sadly I was deprived of enjoying the fabulous narrative of her famous prose.
I’m fortunate to have a 12-year-old daughter with whom I sat through 2020’s Emma. A cautionary tale against behaving badly that’s just as relevant today as when it was written over 200 years ago.
Emma was the last novel to be completed and published while Austen was still alive and there is good reason it is still beloved today.
Our heroine, Emma Woodhouse, played perfectly here by Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, Glass and um The Playmobile Movie) is described as “handsome clever and rich…and has lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
Having just taken credit for the marriage of her friend Miss Taylor played by Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones Yara Greyjoy) to Mr Weston (The War of the Worlds Rupert Graves), Emma embarks on some more matchmaking, with decidedly mixed results.
One of the true joys of this films (and there are many) are the familiar faces popping up all over the village – The Crown’s Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) as the local vicar, as well as Miranda Hart as boring Miss Bates and Bill Nighy as Emma’s elderly father.
Also hugely enjoyable is the cinematography from Christopher Blauvelt (Speed, Zodiac), providing wonderful pictures for first time feature film director Autumn De Wilde, a music photographer, who puts her classy locations, exquisite hair, make-up and costumes to great use.
This is a sumptuous costume drama with lots of laughs to be enjoyed before or after a splendid high tea.
3 & ½ Stars “A Splendid Comedy”