Mr. Darcy, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, has a secret fondness for the film adaptation of Emma starring #GwynethPaltrow. So he wasn’t sure how he’d feel about the “new” Emma adaptation, made in 2020. #Mr.Darcy is here to say he was pleasantly surprised. The original Emma is an elegant, pastel-toned drama with arch comic touches; the recent depiction a vividly colored, brisk comedy. The heroine is played by #Anya Taylor-Joy, of Queen’s Gambit fame, and she makes a younger, less conventionally beautiful but in many ways more compelling Miss Woodhouse. Taylor-Joy is not afraid to be an unlikable spoiled brat who, by the film’s end, is crushed by her social mistakes, particularly how her misreading of character might have ruined her friend Harriet’s chances for a happy marriage; also, and most touchingly, how her need to seem witty humiliates the penniless but well-born Miss Bates. Mr. Darcy would have liked more Jane Fairfax (Amber Anderson) and less Harriet, played by #MiaGoth, rather too insipidly in his opinion. Darcy did find the movie a delight though, regrettably, he sometimes felt that in its eagerness to please Emma’s pace could be overly quick, keeping the best scenes earth-bound when they might have soared.
All in all the real star of Emma is the costumes. Whether it is Emma’s sunshine-colored redingote, a spencer rich with soutache embroidery, or pure white voile dresses frothy as cream, they prove that if Emma doesn’t always know people, she certainly knows what is in fashion. And that includes ostrich plumes!