Thursday, March 12, 2020
Who's in it?: Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split, Marrowbone), Mia Goth (A Cure for Wellness, Marrowbone, Suspiria), Bill Nighy (Underworld, Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean), Rupert Graves (A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread, Sherlock, The White Queen), and Miranda Hart (Spy)
What's it about?: An adaptation of Jane Austen's novel about a well-meaning rich girl in need of humility and learning to mind her own business.
How is it?: Dee. Lightful.
I went in a little concerned that it would take too lighthearted an approach to the story, but while it's quite funny (Bill Nighy's hypochondria and his long-suffering servants being especially hilarious), it also values the emotional pieces and themes that make this my favorite Austen story. Of all of Austen's characters, Emma Woodhouse is the one I relate to most. She has good intentions, but thinks she knows best what's good for people and can be controlling about their welfare. She needs taking down a peg or two, but to do it requires someone who loves her enough to risk their relationship with her by challenging her to change. I might have gotten a bit misty there a couple of times.
It deserves to be seen on the big screen for Taylor-Joy's eyes alone, both in terms of sheer beauty and how she uses them in her acting. It's a lovely, captivating performance.
Mia Goth is also wonderful as the current object of Emma's efforts. Rupert Graves plays the beneficiary of one of her past schemes. And Miranda Hart is pricelessly buffoonish as an irritating neighbor who adores Emma, but rubs her the wrong way.
Rating: Five out of five scheming socialites.