100 Discs of Christmas #17 – Emma (1996)

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This 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Emma (one of two adaptations of the book released that year, the other made for ITV) stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the matchmaking heroine who can’t stop meddling in the love lives of her friends.

Sharply written and directed by Douglas McGrath, who worked on US TV show Saturday Night Live, this is a marvellous film, and Paltrow is superb in the lead role. Toni Collette is also a revelation as Harriet Smith, the illegitimate young woman who is manipulated by a well-meaning but conceited Emma. Another highlight is composer Rachel Portman’s score, which adds another layer of depth to the picture and helps bring out Austen’s ironic humour.

Emma (1996), directed by Douglas McGrath, is released on blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Studio Canal, Certificate U. 

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Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.

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