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Film Review "Emma"

by Emilia Ippolito

A well-known novel by Jane Austen, certainly not her best one, Emma has just been released in the UK

The cast is not as well known as Austen: Anna Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn in the main roles of gossipy, manipulative Emma Woodhouse and independent wealthy George Knightley, Mia Goth as innocent Miss Bates, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner in satellite roles and the wonderful Bill Nighy as Mr Woodhouse.

The script lacks good pace and becomes quickly fragmentary and insufficient, Autumn De Wilde’s direction is not really coping well with either text or action - although minimal, we try to find good elements, and frankly I fear the only plus is left to Alexandra Byrne’s costumes.

After the recent disappointing rendition of May Alcott’s Little Women, we start wondering why producers would keep investing in feature versions of classical novels. It’s never been easy to bring a written story onto screens, and with no valid script or direction, the task seems to get increasingly difficult and the result very unsatisfactory

No wonder films such as The Gentlemen and 1917 are a lot more successful and resonant in the audience’s chats and memories alike

I hope the industry will take these elements into consideration before venturing into a similar project again.

Release date: 14 February 2020 (United Kingdom)
Director: Autumn de Wilde
Screenplay: Eleanor Catton
Costume design: Alexandra Byrne
Distributed by: Focus Features

 

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About Emilia Ippolito

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