Throughout all of this, the Woodhouse’s neighbor from Donwell Abbey, Mr. Knightley (played by the excellent Johnny Flynn), disapproves of Emma’s antics every step of the way. Emma is intended for Frank Churchill (Callum Turner), Mr. Weston’s son, who Knightley thinks is a jerk. However, Churchill is possibly connected with their other neighbor Miss Bates’s (Miranda Clark) niece, Jane Fairfax (Amber Anderson), who Emma doesn’t like. Through the myriad of interactions of the people of Highbury, we see that Emma means well. But her immaturity and selfishness, as well as being unable to see the forest for the trees, makes Emma her own worst enemy.
If you’ve seen Clueless, the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow version, or you know, actually read the book, you know how it all ends. Just in case, I won’t ruin it for you except to say that Mr. Knightley is essentially the Paul Rudd character, Josh, from Clueless.
“…lightning-paced repartee is incredibly funny, and the tit for tat dialogue is full of fierce wit…”
For being a period piece, Emma is not stodgy at all. The lightning-paced repartee is incredibly funny, and the tit for tat dialogue is full of fierce wit thanks to Elanor Catton’s script, and obviously Jane Austen. The costumes, designed by Alexandra Byrne, and the sets, decorated by Stella Fox are gorgeous, as is the overall production design by Kave Quinn.
I will go ahead and say that they are Oscar-worthy, even though it’s way too early to tell. The music by David Schweitzer and Isobel Waller-Bridge is impeccable. The framework that holds up the movie is pretty much perfect. I honestly loved everything about Emma. It’s one of my favorite films of the year so far. I hope it gets all the love and acclaim it deserves; it certainly has mine.
"…looking for an in-depth comparison between the book versus the movie, I fear you have come to the wrong place."