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Emma

EmmaA young woman who considers herself
  an authority on match-making interferes
  with the lives and loves of her friends
  and those around her in the wonderful
  period romantic comedy Emma, based
  on the Jane Austen novel
...”

THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS SMOOTHLY especially if you are relying on Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) to find you a suitable beau. Emma decides that there is nothing she doesn't know about match-making and after orchestrating a very successful romance, she is delighted that her former governess Miss Taylor (Greta Scacchi) finds happiness with widower Mr Weston (James Cosmo).

She even has her eye on the youthful Reverend Mr Elton (Alan Cumming) — not for herself but for her friend Harriet Smith (Toni Collette), who is unfortunately already smitten with Mr Martin (Edward Woodall), a local farmer. But that doesn't stop Emma, who dismisses him as unworthy of Harriet; even persuading her to refuse Mr Martin's proposal.

With some deft manipulation of the desires of her friends, Emma dispenses advice by the bucket-load based on no experience whatsoever. She is very content to stay single and be spoiled by her doting father (Denys Hawthorne), living in Highbury society while directing cupid from the sidelines.

Emma believes that "The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made" as her sister Isabella (Karen Westwood) certainly seems to have achieved; but even that does not make Emma think of settling down as she is having far too much fun arranging paramours for everyone else. She is not above subterfuge to achieve her goals but even she is surprised when one of her intended pawns makes a shocking declaration of love to her.

Emma spends time with her friend Mr Knightly (Jeremy Northam) and he can do little to dissuade her from meddling where she ought not to. She is totally obsessed with being an authority on matters of the heart and will not listen to his warnings. "Vanity working on a weak mind produces every kind of mischief," he cautions her.

At the slightest sniff of an unattached person, Emma dives in head first. All with the very best of intentions, of course, and at times even denying her intentions. "It is not my place to intrude in personal matters," she says. Really?

But Emma is not nearly as clever as she thinks she is. While she is busy solving everyone else's romantic problems, she does not spare much thought for her own future. But when Mr Weston's son Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor) comes to see his father and his new stepmother, he comes across Emma whose carriage is stuck in the mud and upon rescuing her is delighted to discover who she is.

Emma finds herself drawn to Frank, but she has a rival for his affections in the shape of Jane Fairfax (Polly Walker), whom Emma holds in contempt. Due to a misunderstanding, Emma believes Frank is about to ask her to marry him but she has not reckoned on the feelings of her dear friend Mr Knightly. Can this be love? Will Emma finally settle down and leave everyone else to get on with their own lives? And with whom, if anybody, will she take her turn down the aisle?

Funny, captivating and with a marvellous sense of period, Emma is beautifully filmed with an exceptional cast and is based on the book by Jane Austen. Made on location in Dorset and London, this romantic comedy also features: Phyllida Law as Mrs Bates; Sophie Thompson as Miss Bates; Juliet Stevenson as Mrs Elton; Kathleen Byron as Mrs Goddard; Angela Down as Mrs Cole; John Franklyn Robbins as Mr Cole.

Costume Designer is Ruth Myers; the superb Music by Rachel Portman; Director of Photography is Ian Wilson; Executive Producers are: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein and Donna Gigliotti; Produced by Steven Haft and Patrick Cassavetti; Written for the screen and Directed by Douglas McGrath.

Emma is released on Blu-ray on 19 September 2011. Certificate U | Total Running Time: 121 Minutes | Catalogue Number: MIROPTD2132 | RRP: 24.99 | Extras: Trailers.

"Funny, captivating and with a marvellous sense of period, Emma is beautifully filmed with an exceptional cast"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar