Film Review: Emma

Film Review: Emma

Release date: 14 February 2020

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Jonny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner

Runtime:  125 minutes

Genre: Period drama, romance, comedy

Watched in: 2D

Rating: 5/5 stars

This most recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma is my first experience of her well-known novel. I’ve read Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility, but not yet read Emma (though I’m sure I will having thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation). I’ve also not seen any other film or TV versions before, so wasn’t familiar with the plot before seeing the film. Emma is handsome, clever, rich and admired by those in her town. She’s an ambitious matchmaker but on her mission to make matches for others, discovers love herself.   

This adaptation is brilliantly filmed and acted. I was captivated and enthralled from start to finish. Anya Taylor-Joy plays Emma brilliantly, with her facial expressions and delicate touches of body language bringing the character to life. I love how Emma isn’t a typical heroine, and how she grows over the course of the plot. The chemistry between Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn is evident from the start and I revelled in their exchanges throughout. The casting overall was superb. Bill Nighy is excellent as Emma’s father and provided a lot of the comedy moments. As a big fan of Miranda, it’s always a joy to see Miranda Hart and she was very well cast for her role.

The set design, costume design and cinematography is sumptuous and vivid. There are no drab period rooms here, but a bright, pastel palette that’s a wonder for the senses. Every scene pops off the screen. I am no historian, and have absolutely no idea whether the sets and costumes are historically accurate or not, but from a viewer perspective they were sublime.

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Film Review: Interstellar

Release date: 7th November 2014

Director: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain

Runtime: 169 minutes

Genre: Science-Fiction, Drama

Watched in: 2D

Star rating: 4/5


Interstellar tells the story of a group of explorers’ journey through space to save humanity from extinction. The protagonist, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), is persuaded by a scientist (Michael Caine) to embark on the mission, which means leaving behind his two children. They must travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to find habitable planets in another galaxy.

This is a very long film, and at first it was quite slow to get going. The descriptions and trailer don’t give much away about the plot so I wasn’t sure what to expect, and wasn’t sure where it was going at first. Despite a slow start it does pick up fairly quickly. The visuals are stunning and the amount of detail used makes it incredibly real to watch. The end of the world aspect of the plot isn’t all that original, but the story is very well executed. There are a lot of twists and turns in the plot which means you never know what will happen next.

As well as being a stunning science-fiction film, Interstellar also deals with family relationships and conflicts. The aspect of the story of Cooper having to leave behind his children runs through the whole film, and you wonder the whole way through ‘will he ever see them again?’. The portrayal of the family relationships is done very well and gives the film a lot of depth that meaning science-fiction films lack in their attempt to provide a visually stunning thrill ride. This film, however, balances action and drama very well.

The acting in the film is excellent. Matthew McConaughey is excellent as Cooper, portraying the ups and downs of the mission very well. Anne Hathaway and the rest of the cast also play their roles well, showing how different characters deal with the situations presented to them.

At times the plot was very confusing, and perhaps would have been understood better with more scientific knowledge. That said, even though I don’t know much about science I still got what was going on. At times the scientific jargon was a little confusing though. I think, like with Inception, it will take at least another viewing to fully understand everything.

I would definitely recommend seeing this if you are a fan of science-fiction, and even if you are not, the family drama makes it likeable for a mixture of viewers. Do bear in mind that it is a very long film, and you will need to think a bit to understand what is happening. It is very much worth a watch and is probably one of those films that needs to be seen in the cinema.