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Emma. (2020)

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6/10: Emma I'd already seen...
Thursday, April 29, 2021

Emma I'd already seen the Gwyneth Paltrow version of the movie based on the popular book by Jane Austen, I did see the trailer for this new version in cinemas, but obviously coronavirus cancelled the release of it, so I watched it on DVD. Basically, set in Regency-era England, wealthy and beautiful Emma Woodhouse (Golden Globe nominated Anya Taylor-Joy) is seeking a new companion, after her governess Miss Taylor (Gemma Whelan) has married. Emma settles on the younger Harriet Smith (Mia Goth), whose parents are unknown, but she been provided education. Emma later discovers that Harriet has been proposed to by Robert Martin (Connor Swindells). Though claiming she will not interfere, Emma manipulates Harriet into declining Mr. Martin's offer of marriage, much to Harriet's distress. Emma believes that local vicar Mr. Elton (Josh O'Connor) is in love with Harriet and encourages Harriet to spend time with him, despite the warning of Mr. Knightley (Johnny...

6/10: A cinematic meringue - looks good...
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A cinematic meringue - looks good but nothing much underneath. The snag with so much of Jane Austen's works is that they are delicate, intricate and rely on the written word to slowly evolve the characterisations, and therefore the plot. This film makes the ultimate climax to the story as plain as the nose on your face from the get-go. Once we are in on that, it becomes an exercise in damage limitation as our true loves navigate their route to a happy ending. In this respect, though this film is beautiful to look at; the costumes are first rate and the photography in/around England's Gloucestershire country houses is gorgeous - the delivery of the story falls rather flat. It is interesting to see Josh O'Connor and Callum Turner in morning dress; Miranda Hart tries hard as the sort of "Mother Goose" figure and it has moments that reflect the comedic nature of the original; but overall...

8/10: Austen the way Austen should...
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Austen the way Austen should be done. The cast are perfection, the settings sublime and the social observation is as 'Austen' as any Austen I've seen. Yes, this new version of "Emma" is really quite wonderful and I would venture to say even a step up on the 1996 Douglas McGrath version. My only real quibble is that Anya Taylor-Joy, fine as she is, can't quite match Gwyneth Paltrow. Otherwise, what's not to love; a Knightly who isn't too suave or too handsome, (Johnny Flynn, splendid), a Frank Churchill who actually is something of a charmer and nowhere near as obnoxioous as he's often painted, (an excellent Callum Turner), and a gorgeously obsequious Mr. Elton from Josh O'Connor who just about walks off with the film while director Autumn de Wilde, (love that name), keeps it very nicely in period , (none of those little post-modern nods that now seem to be common...

7/10: one can only comment lamentably...
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

one can only comment lamentably, all's well that ends well "Many eligible bachelors and maidens dwell in Emma's village, and under the impression that she is a born matchmaker after facilitating the knot-tying of her governess and the wealthy widower Mr. Weston (Whelan and Graves), her next goal is Harriet Smith (Goth), a young girl of obscure lineage, yet, Emma deems the tenant farmer Robert Martin (Swindells) is below Harriet's status (a classist prejudice that Emma is apparently oblivious to), in lieu, she tries to pair Harriet with the seemingly convivial local vicar Mr. Elton (O'Connor), to the obvious objection of George Knightley (Flynn), the brother of her brother-in-law, that the outcome leaves Harriet heartbroken and prompts Mr. Elton to a swift marriage with a girl hailed from elsewhere."read the full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

7/10: Nudity! Oh My ... Reasons to...
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Nudity! Oh My ... Reasons to dislike, per other reviews: 1. Brief backside nudity. 2. Odd choice of mismatched music, both foreground & background. 3. Doesn't follow the book. Reasons to like: 1. If the brief, admittedly pointless, scene of nudity bothers you then you must have been born & raised always fully clothed. 2. Music was odd, but so was the story. 3. Often said, per some unknown rule, when text is interpreted into "moving pictures" that they are to be both creative & mechanistically identical. My complaint is that I had to sit through an hour+ of someone who reminded me of a current political leader, i.e. vain, arrogant, selfish, controlling. The only things lacking were vague repeated exaggerations like "very very".

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