Emma. ★★★★★

In her debut feature film Emma. (full-stop intended), director Autumn de Wilde examines some deeply romantic and sexual attractions while maintaining a U-rating. This new and gorgeously shot adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel feels ruder, raunchier, and more mature than other recent period pieces suitable for families (Little Women, The Personal History of David Copperfield), but de Wilde and screenwriter Eleanor Catton still entice with strong innuendo. One scene, heavily advertised, has the titular hero Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) biting on a berry, witnessed by an entranced Mr Knightley (Johnny Flynn) – nothing happens physically, yet the screen bursts with lustful energy. As a result, Emma. is an energetic, hilarious, sensual romcom that you’d happily take your kids to.

From the moment Anya Taylor-Joy opens her eyes at the start, you know she’s a perfect fit for Emma, the unwed matchmaker. Mostly sparking as a regular lead in horrors and thrillers (The VVitch, Thoroughbreds), Taylor-Joy may be an unusual choice for Emma, but she takes to it with such dark and devious enthusiasm. Emma’s not only manipulative, but scarily manipulative. She only empathises when it suits her, to the point of sociopathy; that is, until she’s brought back to humanity by her overly anxious father (Bill Nighy) and her always-combative brother-in-law Mr Knightley.

Read my full review on HeyUGuys: www.heyuguys.com/emma-review-jane-austen/