A select handful of canonized authors seem to have an unlimited pass for an endless stream of adaptations, and among them, William Shakespeare and Jane Austen reign supreme. The latter’s novels, charming satires on class and courtship in the era of petticoats and frocks, have inspired countless faithful films as well as sideways interpretations like teen classic Clueless.
That film was based on Emma, a witty work of humor and romance, which will receive a more by-the-book screen treatment in 2020. The first trailer has arrived today, promising a sumptuous-looking outing to the English countryside, where hearts quicken and complexions flush with a single furtive word.
Anya Taylor-Joy will tackle the headlining role of Emma Woodhouse, a socialite busybody who takes great pleasure in involving herself in the personal doings of those in her circle. She fancies herself an expert matchmaker, blissfully unaware that she generally gives poor advice and, on the whole, possesses precious little self-awareness.
She’ll come around on her own manners over the course of the new take on the material, which rounds up a promising supporting cast including Bill Nighy, Johnny Flynn, and Mia Goth. They’re all in classical mode, with all the lavish costuming that would imply, though whether the script will consider Austen’s text and dialogue sacrosanct has yet to be seen.
The announcement of another Jane Austen movie may prompt cries of just that – “another Jane Austen movie?” – but hers is a rich well from which to draw. Time changes, fads fade, but busybodies sticking their nose in your private affairs? That’s eternal.
Emma comes to cinemas on 14 February, 2020.
Published 21 Nov 2019
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