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Emma  (DVD)


Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Bill Nighy, Rupert Graves, Miranda Hart, Angus Imrie, Chloe Pirrie, Josh O'Connor, Amber Anderson

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Bustles and bonnets bloom again, as we go back to the early 19th century, and lovers of costume drama will find much to admire in this slightly quirky adaptation of Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy about the meddlesome minx in Regency England who plays matchmaker and causes chaos in the process.

It's a feast for the eye if not quite so much for the mind, and a step or two behind the rival 1996 versions with Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale, even though it's a tad less sentimental than either.

The exquisitely good-looking Taylor-Joy makes for an enjoyably offbeat Emma, even if at times her manners seem too modern, and you do yearn to give her troublemaker a non-PC spanking. On the whole, emotions and characterisations remain at a distance. But it's beautifully-set, if imperfectly-scored, and much of Austen's intelligently waspish dialogue is mercifully retained.

David Quinlan

UK 2020. UK Distributor: Universal (Focus). Colour by Arri.
119 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 19 Jun 2020