Emma: A Great Escape

Credit: Focus Features

Callum Turner, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Johnny Flynn in Emma (2020).

Maybe you’re having to miss out on Chawton House’s current exhibition on Emma (now closed, like much else) or a theater viewing of the new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, Emma, directed by Autumn de Wilde, but never fear dear reader: Emma is now available on demand through Amazon, Apple, xfinity, Vudu, Google Play, or Fandango Now for $20, and it’s the perfect way to escape the madness for two hours.

Emma is Austen’s brilliant tale of matchmaking gone awry. The titular character is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, whose wide-eyed expressiveness steals the show. Bill Nighy, who portrays Emma’s father, Mr. Woodhouse, is the perfect inscrutable comic. Johnny Flynn, our Mr. Knightley, is more human—dare I say more authentic to Austen?—than previous actors who have played the part.

The Regency-era costumes, glorious confections, and country-house scenery are breathtakingly beautiful, worth the price of admission alone. (Also: the film is fine for mature children.) Watch the trailer below and see for yourself: