Prosperity and Indulgence

Emma

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Bill Nighy, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Connor Swindells

Thank you to United International Pictures for the UIP Film Preview of Emma held on Wednesday 4th March 2020 at Suncoast CineCentre in Durban, South Africa.

Director Autumn de Wilde’s sassy interpretation of the Jane Austen novel Emma into a gloriously lavish film version is not to be missed.

Mia Goth (left) as “Harriet Smith” and Anya Taylor-Joy (right) as “Emma Woodhouse” in director Autumn de Wilde’s EMMA, a Focus Features release. Credit : Focus Features

This delightful and devilishly romantic comedy of manners set in the early part of the 19th Century in rural England before the Napoleonic wars during the crest of romanticism in English Literature features a fabulous cast of hot young American and British film stars including Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma, handsome and blonde blue-eyed British actor Johnny Flynn as George Knightley, Mia Goth (A Cure for Wellness) as the impressionable Harriett Smith and Callum Turner as the dashing and incorrigible Frank Churchill who survived solely on prosperity and indulgence.

Emma ill-advises the sweet and innocent Harriett not to accept the marriage proposal of tenant farmer Mr Martin played by Connor Swindells, while into the mix of romantic intrigue is thrown the fascinating and musically accomplished Jane Fairfax played by Amber Anderson (The Riot Club) whose talents prove to rival that of our rich and clever heroine.

Anya Taylor-Joy (left) as “Emma Woodhouse” and Johnny Flynn (right) as “Mr. Knightley” in director Autumn de Wilde’s EMMA, a Focus Features release. Credit : Focus Features

Through gorgeous balls, dinners and sumptuous afternoon teas and the obligatory summer picnic, romances blossom and are duly crushed while throughout Emma Woodhouse has to re-evaluate her own feelings for the ubiquitous George Knightley who has a convivial relationship with Emma’s hypochondriac father Mr Woodhouse wonderfully played with sly comic genius by Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Bookshop).

Other superb supporting actors in Emma include Rupert Graves (A Room with a View, Death at a Funeral, Maurice,) as Mr Weston, Miranda Hart (Spy) as Miss Bates and Gemma Whelan from HBO’s hit series Games of Thrones as Mrs Weston.

Director Autumn de Wilde’s refreshingly bright and gorgeous cinematic retelling of Emma is definitely worth seeing and gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Highly recommended viewing for those that enjoy clever romantic comedies especially inspired by the smart writings of Jane Austen naturally infused with the dry British sense of humour.

Hopefully, this version of Emma will inspire the millennials to pry their eyes away from smartphones and rediscover the witty literature of Jane Austen whose refined comedy of manners included an array of famous romantic novels including Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility.

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