This is a British version of Little Women and it produces the same delightful impact. The dance scenes in both films are alluring.
This is a film that you really should see. Though it begins with a 19th Century 21 year old arrogant British girl living in a mansion who passes judgment on everyone, she matures into a young woman who discovers the importance of kindness and forgiveness.
Anya Taylor-Joy is splendid playing Emma Woodhouse, a wealthy child/woman raised by her bored widowed father (Bill Nighy). With no desire to marry and dismissing male advances as boring intrusions, she reminded me of Saoirse Ronan’s role in the previously-referred to Little Women.
Director Autumn de Wilde has the good sense to focus on the evolving relationship of Emma and George Knightley, a wealthy young mansion owner played with impact by Johnny Flynn. You movie fans will remember him from his memorable role in Beast (2017).
Here, Flynn’s Knightley knowingly irritates Emma with his barbed criticisms despite his obvious attraction to her. Brushing him aside, Emma spends most of her time trying to help her friend Harriet (Mia Goth) choose a husband. The possibilities range from a witless preacher, an untrustworthy lad about to inherit enormous wealth and a poor farmer.
The movie gained great strength as you watch both Emma and Harriet navigate through a patriarchal society dominated by wealth and tradition. Helped by magnificent cinematography which captures a wondrous landscape, the audience was smiling as these two found a path to true love.