Jack Barry’s review published on Letterboxd:
Fun and funny and fizzy, musical and colorful and emotional.
An exquisitely stylized blast of colors and manners and music and humor. A period-piece approached as a full-construction of another dimension. Through color-pallette and pattern-coordination, costume & hair & production-design, and through rituals and mannerisms and unwritten-rules, through ancient-dances and stolen-glances, this is world-building at its finest.
I must say, the titular-character, our girl Emma, is not too likeable, even as she's pretty irresistible. Kind of a stuck-up snooty sorority-girl type. Like "You can't sit with us..."
But then, actually, by the end, a whole lot happens to the characters, and we get somewhere with them. And there's more to Emma than we thought initially. Not unsatisfying, I must say, in its way with things.
This Jane Austen person knew how to do her thing, for sure. Never read any of her stuff (yet), but I recently watched "Pride and Prejudice", with Kiera Knightley, and have seen "Sense and Sensibility", with Emma Thompson, and yeah, all three are built on a certain set of themes.
Our girl here is played wonderfully by Anya-Taylor Joy, the young actress from "The VVitch" and "Morgan". Her friend is played by Mia Goth, the bathtub-eel-girl from "The Cure for Wellness". Both of them are beautiful and otherworldly, somehow strange-looking, like they're maybe slightly-inbred, or maybe escaped from a Hobbit-movie or something. Big wide eyes and fair skin and a sense of privileged mischief.
All the actors here are fantastic too. A great ensemble, in service to a downright environmental experience. This thing's like some strange amusement-park-ride as a buttoned-up costume-drama.
Just like the reality of her actions sneaks up on Emma and kinda overwhelms her, this flick has a cumulative effect that's greater than the seeming sum of its parts.
Strangely, it's all of a spectacular piece, constructed like an ornate clockwork-peacock, and it works like a grand symphony, each of the elements lending themselves to the overall-effect on us.
It's got a feel and a flair all its own. This director, Autumn De Wilde, really did her own thing.
Good Fun Substantial Stuff. Unstuffy, yet Dignified. And Sexy too. Emma's gonna get it. The matchmaker will meet her match.