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
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