EMMA (1995) 

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Gwenyth Paltrow
Jeremy Northam
Denys Hawthorne
James Cosmo
Greta Scacchi
Alan Cumming
Toni Collette
Ewan McGregor
Phyllida Law
Sophie Thompson
Edward Woodall

Douglas McGrath



Time: 121 mins.
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy/Romance

Won Academy Award for Best Score. Nomination for Best Costume Design.

SYNOPSIS: Emma Woodhouse is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. She is perpetually trying to unite men and women who are utterly wrong for each other. Despite her interest in romance, Emma is clueless about her own feelings for the gentle Mr. Knightly.

BOTTOM LINE: Paltrow provides major star power to this sumptuous adaptation of Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy of errors about love amongst the upper classes. She fairly glows with impish delight. She is determined to make the perfect love match for her new best friend, the charmingly simple Ms. Harriet Smith (Collette), while never once thinking about romance for herself. Mr. Knightly (Northam), an old family friend, is appalled by her deviousness and warns her that she's playing with fire.

For all her wit and intelligence, Emma's plans for Harriet go completely haywire, sweeping her into the mix as well. The arrival of Frank Churchill (McGregor), a mysterious and potential suitor, brings renewed hope to the ladies, but ends up only delivering further heartache. As it turns out, both Emma and Harriet merely had to look under their own noses to find the love they'd been searching for.

Though a costume, period piece, EMMA has more flair and energy than the typical "Merchant/Ivory"-type fare. Paltrow and Collette are delightful as best friends desperate to settle down with the perfect man. Northam is handsome, gallant and irresistible as Knightly, Emma's conscience and eventual soul mate. The chemistry between Paltrow and Northam is electric and their bantering/bickering amusing and delightful. A film to seek out, especially if you're a fan of Paltrow or the genre.

"The most incomprehensible thing in the world to a man is a woman who rejects his offer of marriage."

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