Monday, February 24, 2020

Review: Emma.

Release date: February 21, 2020
Running time: 122 minutes
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy 

What a wonderful winter we have had.  First we had the phenomenal adaptation of Little Women and now we have this stunning film version of the Jane Austin tale Emma.  For those who have not read the book (myself included), Emma is the story of a good-natured but meddling young woman who plays matchmaker in her small English town.  She befriends another young lady, and attempts to find her a suitable husband to disastrous results.  All the while, she tries to weather the various social dynamics of aristocratic England.  

As the namesake of the movie, Emma is the main character and star.  And thankfully, Anya Taylor-Joy is absolutely enchanting as Emma, with a strong-willed modern take on the literary character.  She speaks her mind and freely communicates her thoughts, does not let herself be influenced by anyone, and runs both her father's estate and the entire town's social calendar.  Taylor-Joy bring the character to life with her perfect dialog and facial expressions.  Much of the fun and drama in the movie comes from Emma's interaction with various characters in the town, and thankfully they are equally enchanting and add to the wonderful life that this film has.  Bill Nighy is absurdly delightful as Emma's father, and his antics are fun to watch.  Johnny Flynn is perfect as Mr. Knightley, Emma's blunt friend who is above the social schemes of the protagonist.  Each character is perfectly cast and delivers a stellar performance.  

The film adaptation of Emma retains much from the Jane Austin novel, including plenty of dialogue, key plot points, and several scenes that are expertly recreated for the big screen.  What the film version adds to the story are some amazing sets, costumes, and phenomenal acting.  The sets and costumes are really something to behold.  The filmmakers went all out when bringing this story to the big screen.  The colors pop off the screen and contribute to the beauty of this film.  The costumes are equally wonderful, with a mix of colors and flashy accessories that express so much about the characters and their circumstances.  On top of this visual aspect, the film tells so much without resorting to dialogue.  The writing is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but there is so much that is conveyed from character's facial expressions or the shots that they use.  Some of my favorite scenes didn't have any speaking at all, which is a testament to the filmmakers.  Altogether, I went in not knowing what to expect and left this movie with a massive smile on my face.  

Emma brings the Jane Austin classic to life with a colorful style, a stellar cast, and an absolute charm that will capture you from the first scene.  

Watch It

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