Emma (1996 film)

Emma (1996 film)

Infobox Film | name = Emma

caption = Promotional poster for "Emma"
director = Douglas McGrath
producer = Patrick Cassavetti
Steven Haft
writer = Jane Austen (book)
Douglas McGrath (screenplay)
starring = Gwyneth Paltrow
Alan Cumming
Toni Collette
Ewan McGregor
Polly Walker
James Cosmo
Greta Scacchi
Denys Hawthorne
Sophie Thompson
Jeremy Northam
Juliet Stevenson
Edward Woodall
music = Rachel Portman
cinematography = Ian Wilson
editing = Lesley Walker
distributor = Miramax Films
released = August 2, 1996
runtime = 121 min.
language = English
budget =
imdb_id = 0116191

"Emma" is a 1996 period film based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. Directed by Douglas McGrath, it stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Northam, Toni Collette, and Ewan McGregor.


Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. When her governess is married and goes to live with her new husband, Emma is triumphant, saying that she made the match herself. Her old friend, Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam), tries to discourage her from doing this again, but she does not listen to him. She immediately introduces the newly-arrived local minister to a local girl, Harriet Smith. Emma and Harriet become steadfast friends, but unhappily, while trying to get the minister and Harriet together, Emma herself becomes the person that the minister fancies. Harriet's heart is broken, but she tries to move onward.

When Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor) enters the picture, Emma thinks herself in love, but she soon realizes she is not. She then tries to match Frank and Harriet together, but her former governess tells her that he has been secretly engaged to an acquaintance of Emma's, Jane Fairfax (Polly Walker). When Emma tells the news to Harriet, Harriet then informs her that she is not in love with Frank, she is in love with Mr. Knightley! Emma then realizes that she, herself, is in love with Knightley as well, and she does not know what to do. Mr. Knightley then returns from seeing his brother, and after they see each other again, he tells Emma that he is in love with her. She is overjoyed, and they become engaged. When Emma relays the message to Harriet, Harriet is once again heartbroken, but a few weeks later gets a second proposal from Robert Martin, an old friend of hers--a man whose initial proposal near the beginning of the movie Emma had encouraged her to reject--and she accepts. Emma and Harriet both end up happily married, along with the Churchills.

Although in general staying close to the plot of the book, the screenplay by Douglas McGrath enlivens the banter between the staid Mr. Knightley and the vivacious Emma, making the basis of their attraction more apparent.


Gwyneth Paltrow won critical acclaim for her role as Emma, particularly her ability to disguise her American accent. The characters of Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates were played by real-life mother and daughter Phyllida Law and Sophie Thompson. Scottish actor Alan Cumming and classical actress Juliet Stevenson stole most of the comic moments as Mr. and Mrs Elton.

Austen's original novel deals with Emma's false sense of class superiority, for which she is eventually chastised. In an essay from "Jane Austen in Hollywood", Nora Nachumi writes that, due partly to Paltrow's star status, Emma appears less humbled by the end of this film than she does in the novel. [Peter M. Nichols, The New York Times Essential Library: Children's Movies, Times Books, 2003, ISBN 0-8050-7198-9,]


Mcgrath originally wanted to make an updated film version of Emma set in modern times, but rejected that idea after learning that Amy Heckerling's Clueless was already in production. [erasofelegance.com, " [http://www.erasofelegance.com/entertainment/movies/emma/emma.html] "]


The film earned an Academy Award for Best Musical or Comedy Score. Gwyneth Paltrow also won the 1996 Golden Satellite award for Best Actress in a comedy or musical.


External links

* [http://humanscience.wikia.com/wiki/Emma "Life Response" in "Emma"] on Humanscience wikia

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