Emma. ★★★½

Emma is one of those Jane Austen novels that gets adapted once or twice a decade, but thankfully I’d grown a bit hazy on the details.  With Austen, I spend the first ten or fifteen minutes tying to remember who is who and how everyone is related, but after that I was back  on board, laughing at the ridiculous Mr. Elton, rooting for Mr. Knightley, and mostly shaking my head at Emma and her extreme vanity.

The cast is excellent, particularly Bill Nighy (whom I was first introduced to as a vampire in Underworld of all things), Josh O’Connor, and Anya Taylor Joy. The movie is pristine, all soft pastels and vistas that feel not quite real, and that reminded me of the exquisite backdrops in Barry Lyndon. 

Due to a typically slow first two months of the year, this was my first 2020 release. I’d been missing the theater but was determined to hold out for something I was actually excited to see. Emma delivered a delightful experience, not a must-see but a lovely and quite competent retelling for all us Austen-ophiles who can’t seem to get enough.

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