Emma. ★★★

Autumn de Wilde's Emma. starts slow but eventually overcomes a rough beginning, I was struggling to find a reason why I should care about these wealthy characters and their problems until the second half of the film when they start to open up a bit more and become more two-dimensional.

This is mainly due to the fact that in the second half of the film, Anya Taylor-Joy's well-meaning but selfish protagonist finds herself out of her comfort zone and not everything goes the way she designs. It's fun to watch a manipulative protagonist but it's more fun to watch a manipulative protagonist when things don't always go their way - it's more challenging and makes them more likeable. Taylor-Joy shows once again that she's a rising star with another impeccable performance, keeping much of the drama afloat on her own.

The supporting cast is largely positive - Josh O'Connor is fine, Johnny Flynn is impressive and Bill Nighy does his usual Bill Nighy thing but at this point I wasn't expecting anything less. The film isn't as revisionist or as lively as Little Women, but it's a solid enough of a drama that will appeal to any fans of more traditional period films and Jane Austen books in particular. If you don't like stuffy, uptight period dramas then this film won't convince you - it can feel like a chore at times and there's only so much the cast can do, but it's not half bad.

The script is witty - it's just a pity that it's not as consistently as exciting as the trailers teased.

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