Emma. ★★★½

A delightful and airy tart, free of any motive outside of giving a little chuckle here and there, and making Emma less the romantic obsessive and a more complete individual. Emma is enhanced by Clueless, actually, since Jane Austen's matchmaker text is where Amy Heckerling's narrative template came from. It'd actually make for a lovely double feature to highlight how Heckerling's updated lingo works so well with Austen's original text (even if making Mr. Knightley a college-aged step brother is off) and who's who here is a pleasant game that I was running through my mind as an added challenge to a unambiguous affair (Mia Goth's rollin' with the homies! Johnny Flynn loves Radiohead! Breckin Meyer’s counterpart doesn't get any dialogue! etc etc).

What Autumn de Wilde's adaptation really gets right is how stuffy high society is that one sentence here and there can make someone crumble. How much pressure that is, and how easy it is to succumb to it (Emma is a bit more of a brat here, as she should be). What this Emma adds is an understanding as to why Emma makes matches because she doesn't want to leave her father alone; thus, it would take quite the man, unworried of how it’d look (at the time), to move into her massive homestead. As much as Emma has to prove herself worthy it's also the society men around her who quite regularly prove that they're selfish and unworthy of her matches, let alone herself. Bold gestures only.

All told, a rather handsome, if unchallenging, period romance with wit and charm shining through regularly. And a beaming internal warmth from Anya Taylor-Joy.

Block or Report

Brian liked these reviews