Movie #65 2021: Emma. (2020)

Ah, yes. Another remake of a classic period novel by Jane Austen. Did we need it? Probably not. Is it worth watching? Let’s see!

Emma. is based on the aforementioned novel of the same name and is set in 1800s England. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular heroine, it’s a neat little story about Emma – a wealthy girl who meddles in the love lives of her friends. The film begins with Emma searching for her new companion after her previously one got married and left her alone with nothing to do. She settles on Harriet Smith (Mia Goth) and it starts all over again. Along the way, Emma realises some truths about herself, how to become a better person, and whether or not she will ever fall in love herself one day.

Well. It’s a good job I fucking love pastels, isn’t it?! Lavish and almost dream-like, these set dressings and immaculate visuals successfully create some wonderful eye candy, and those pastels are at the heart of it.

Not only are the sets filled with charm and wonderment, but Emma. also has the Best Costume Design Oscar written all over it – they eat this sort of shit up. To be fair, they have good reason to with this one because it’s extraordinarily well done, as is the hair. In fact, especially the hair. How anyone had the patience to so intricately detail every strand on every person’s head is beyond me.

I mean, look at it:

And that’s only one hairstyle in one scene on one head. Insane.

I understand that Anya Taylor-Joy is the moment and she truly is very good as our protagonist(?) with her eye rolls and all, but Bill Nighy in a period drama is what steals the show in my opinion. His role is a relatively small one, but the way he sits completely nonchalantly in those tight-ass pants is iconic. Of course, the whole cast steps up to the pre-Victorian era plate, each of them wrapping their heads around what is almost alien dialogue in this day and age. Very impressive indeed.

Though I’ve never read Jane Austen’s original novel, I have to applaud the balls she had for writing such a strong female lead way back in 1815. Due to my ignorance, I can’t say whether or not this sticks faithfully to the original plot, but going in blind was actually kind of fun. I had no idea where it was going, and it ended up being mostly entertaining if not a little too long. 

Overall? Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It’s a very pretty, well-made film, but there’s nothing life-changing going on within it. Again though, Emma. is probably one of the nicest looking films of 2020.

Despite all that, I’m mainly pissed off that all the lesbian undertones were for nothing. See it for yourself.

Emma. is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

TQR Category Ratings:

Costume & Set Design: 
Overall Rating: ½

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