Jane Austen’s 1815 classic novel, Emma, is recreated in this 2020 film as a story of selfish romance that spins out of control for pretty, wealthy, independent Emma.
Taken from the novel, Jane Austen writes that, “Seldom, very seldom does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken…” And this seems to be Emma’s mantra. Unattached, with no need for a man, she makes it her match-making goal to find love for everyone around her. However, when she walks the fine line of white lies and forcing people on one another, things go wrong. Her match-making skills fail (repeatedly) for her mentee and truest friend, Harriet, and Emma quickly learns some tough lessons about society, friendship, pride, and what it means to be the one in love.
If you’re a Jane Austen fan, this film is for you. The costumes and set are stunning, and the characters bring to life the quirks and quaintness of a 19th century countryside London. However, the romantic plot of centuries past might not hold the attention of young children, and the older British verbiage would be hard to follow.
Children also won’t be prepared for the brief clips of nudity in this film. One scene includes Mr. Knightley’s naked backside while he’s undressing from a horseback ride, and not one scene later, the audience sees the side of Emma’s naked behind and her bare leg as she warms herself by the fire. Other elements that parents need to be aware of are the constant, obsessive conversations around marriage. Granted, the times were different centuries ago, but marriage seems to be held as the most ultimate fulfillment in life. In addition, characters drink wine in multiple scenes throughout the film, and The Lord’s name is taken in vain once.
Overall, Emma. (2020), both in marriage-obsessed content and generic plot lines, isn’t suitable for children, and the clips of nudity aren’t appropriate across the board. However, adults and gurus of the classics will enjoy this generally clean adaptation of Jane Austen’s infamous comedy.
But unfortunately, due to nudity, this film is Not Dove-approved.
The Dove Take: This 2020 remake of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, Emma, is packed with subtle English humor that centers on romance and its awkward blunders, but a few naked behinds, mixed with a high-vocabulary script, aren’t suitable for most audiences.