Emma (1996)

The latest of the Austen adaptations stars Gwyneth Paltrow (THE 
PALLBEARER, SEVEN) as Emma Woodhouse, a social busybody who simply 
cannot relax unless she's finding a find or catching a catch.  Her 
misguided matchmaking leads to all sorts of silliness, including 
the alienation and disappointment of friends, the gross misunder-
standing of others, and, somehow, a life happily ever after for 
herself.  (Such a self-satisfied person should have it so easy!)  
In her first starring role, Ms. Paltrow comfortably carries the 
film.  She's a bit of a lightweight, sure, but the role doesn't 
demand too much of her.  (The Oscar buzz is entirely absurd.  So 
what's to nominate?)  

Making his directorial debut is screenwriter Douglas McGrath, who 
co-wrote Woody Allen's BULLETS OVER BROADWAY.  In addition to the 
volumes of delightful dialogue, he's come loaded for bear with a 
strong supporting cast, impeccable period detail, and about a 
thousand colorful gardens for the characters to spend most of their 
time wandering through.  (Mr. McGrath is probably on the short list 
for MASTERPIECE THEATER: THE MOVIE, which must be in Development 
Hell somewhere.)  What's *missing* from EMMA is the visual energy 
that would've added some snap to this starchy and otherwise slight 
story.  Don't be surprised if your eyes start to glaze over. (Rated 
"PG"/115 min.)

Grade: B-

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: August 18, 1996

Home   |   Recommended   |   Reviews   |   Views   |   Letters   |   Links   |   FAQ   |   Search!

Please report problems to mike@legeros.com
Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros