Author: Miramax (staring Gwyneth Paltrow)
My Rating: ****
Official Rating: PG
Age Group: 12+
Enter the world of high English society, when there was little to do and the trivial matters thus became exceedingly interesting. Parties are, it seems, everything. Then add a cast of characters. Emma, a girl who likes to make couples, Mr. Knightly, her friend since childhood, and a woman whose birth is unknown and has fallen into Emma's hands. Emma decides Ms. Smith needs a husband, and Emma is going to find her one. But along the way, various other couples are made that Emma did not plan for. As Emma's plans fall down on her head, she stumbles about blindly wondering where to turn.
Word of Warning
The characters are concerned with everything trivial.
Emma constantly gets involved in others' affairs and tries to manipulate things. She insults one woman (but is very sorry and tries to make amends) and is very opinionated about other people. Still, she is aware she has this fault and tries hard to stop it. She does make progress, but I believe this will be her struggle for life.
People are looked down upon because of their place in society.
One man leads Emma to believe he loves her in order to cover up his engagement to another woman.
Emma and some of the other ladies were dresses with low necklines.
There are four kisses, but they are chaste and don't even take place until the end of the movie.
This is one of those movies that leaves you laughing, cringing, and then, at the end, sighing and staring at the screen because you simply can't think of anything better to do. It's stunning. The dress, the countryside, and the buildings are beautiful. The acting is wonderfully done and we do feel drawn into this society where people clearly have little to do and are seeking entertainment, but never in immoral ways.
For much of the movie I disliked the character of Emma. But, as it progressed, I was impressed to see her struggling to mend her ways. Honestly, the only character who kept me watching until she did so was Mr. Knightly, a true gentleman. And, of course, all the comic relief characters.
It's a charming movie, very different from the usual ones I watch. There's no drama, no excitement, no high speed anything, and happily nothing scandalous. It's just a very good rendition of the reality in which characters of this society lived.