Emma. (2020)

A new movie review from The Movie Snob.

Emma.  (B+).  Did we really need another movie of the beloved Jane Austen novel?  I guess the box office will tell.  This is a fine and, I believe, faithful adaptation of the book, so being an ardent disciple of the divine Miss Austen I quite enjoyed it.  Anya Taylor-Joy was an interesting choice for the title role; her large, wide-set eyes give her a somewhat exotic appearance that may have worked better in her other movies like The Witch and Split, but she does a good job on the whole.  In this version, I think Mr. Knightley (Johnny Flynn, Clouds of Sils Maria) at least looks quite a bit younger than he was in the novel (and the familiar 1996 movie version starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam), and perhaps as a result this Emma–Knightley combination actually generates a little romantic heat.  What else to say?  The music stands out; there’s quite of bit of it, and a lot of it sounds like religious music of the period (or at least some long-past period).  In this version, Emma’s older sister and her family come to Highbury for a visit and make a vivid impression; I don’t remember them from the book or prior movies.  Anyway, if you like Jane Austen, or period pieces, or romantic comedies, I think you should like this movie.

P.S.  Yes, the title of the movie really does have a period at the end, which I noticed on the opening title card.  According to Wikipedia, “The title of the film has a period attached to signify it being a period piece.”

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