Rarely has Jane Austen’s work been funnier on film. OK, her work as presented in LOVE & FRIENDSHIP was funnier, but that was mostly because Tom Bennett plays the perfect idiot. EMMA, the film and the character (Anya Taylor-Joy) is witty, bitchy and sharp, but she may well give way to a romantic happily ever after in the end. In her first directed feature, Autumn de Wilde shows an assured hand and brings the very best out of her cast (as well as Taylor-Joy, Bill Nighy, Miranda Hart and Johnny Flynn are particularly good). The aching beauty of Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography is somewhat at odds with the uncomfortable comedy of awkwardness and the film’s runtime can feel much longer if you’ve got limited patience for Emma’s awfulness. Still worth a watch, but perhaps an acquired taste even for Austen fans. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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