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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Autumn de Wilde
Cast:
Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth
Writing Credits:
Eleanor Catton

Synopsis:
In 1800s England, a well meaning but selfish young woman meddles in the love lives of her friends.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$4,805,785 on 1565 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$10,055,355.

MPAA:
Rated PG.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 124 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 5/19/2020

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Autumn de Wilde, Screenwriter Eleanor Catton and Director of Photography Christopher Blauvelt
• Deleted Scenes
• “A Playful Tease” Featurette
• “The Autumn Gaze” Featurette
• “Crafting a Colorful World” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Emma. [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 13, 2020)

Movie and TV viewers love them some Jane Austen, as indicated by the umpty-ump adaptations of her 1813 novel Pride & Prejudice. While not quite as popular with audiences, 1815’s Emma also offers an Austen evergreen, and it becomes the source for Emma., a 2020 adaptation that adds a bit of punctuation to slyly remind us we find a period piece.

Set in England circa the 1810s, 20-year-old Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) leads a gilded existence. Wealthy and privileged, she tends to get whatever she wants, and she loves to meddle in the lives of friends.

Emma seems fascinated with the romantic interactions of others but she shuns such affairs herself. Because Emma’s wealth means she doesn’t need a husband, she sees no purpose to these relationships.

When Emma meets plain Harriet Smith (Mia Goth), she takes her on as a project, and she wheedles to find a match for her. Along the way, Emma sees her objections to personal romantic entanglements change path,

The Austen story enjoyed a nice revival in the mid-90s. In addition to a “straight” 1996 Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow as the lead, we also got 1995’s Clueless, a loose modernized update.

I never saw the Paltrow Emma, so until now, Clueless remained my only experience with the story. A charming comedic depiction, it stands as a fine take on the narrative.

Though not as much fun as Clueless, Emma. becomes a more than adequate rendition as well. Obviously truer to the source, Emma. manages to avoid a “period piece” staidness while it also doesn’t come across as overtly “modern”.

The 2005 Pride & Prejudice managed the same trick – and managed it a bit better, I must admit, as I think it becomes a pretty terrific Austen adaptation. As that review notes, I entered the 2005 Pride with low expectations but found a satisfying tale.

More a mix of comedy and drama, Emma. doesn’t work quite as well, but it holds its own. One might fear otherwise during the opening act, though, as the film pursues such an arch tone that it seems likely to veer closer to spoof than concrete adaptation.

Some of this humor goes a long way, and the early parts of Emma. can feel a little forced and smug. The film’s depiction of privileged life threatens to alienate us from Emma and the others, a choice that could’ve become disastrous.

Happily, Emma. finds its footing before too long, and it manages a superior balance as it goes. While the film’s first half still favors comedy, it slowly transition to a more even tone, one that heads more into drama during the third act.

After that semi-clumsy start, Emma. levels out, so the shift to a more serious feel comes across as natural. The movie transitions subtly and doesn’t change gears in an awkward manner.

The key comes from the depiction of Emma herself, and Taylor-Joy manages the character’s growth well. Like the film itself, Taylor-Joy can seem a bit too arch in the early going, but her performance matures with Emma’s own development, and the actor pulls off these shifts nicely.

I doubt I’ll find an Austen adaptation I like as much as the 2005 Pride, but Emma. stands as a fine entry in the genre – pretentious punctuation and all. It makes me curious to check out prior versions, and that sounds like a pretty good compliment.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

Emma. appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie offered a fine transfer.

Overall definition seemed positive. Virtually no softness materialized, so the movie appeared accurate and concise.

I noticed no signs of jaggies or edge enhancement, and shimmering was absent. The film lacked print flaws and seemed clean.

Many period pieces opt for subdued palettes, and that was true here. The colors tended toward teal tones, with some amber and pink along for the ride as well. These appeared fine within the film’s stylistic choices.

Blacks seemed dark and tight, and shadows demonstrated good clarity. This added up to a satisfying presentation.

A character tale wouldn’t seem to be a candidate for a whiz-bang soundtrack, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Emma. fell into expected realms. The track oriented toward ambience, so don’t expect lots of sizzle from the mix.

General atmosphere came across pretty well, and music filled the speakers in an inviting manner. Nothing here seemed memorable, though.

Audio quality satisfied. Music was full and rich, while effects showed nice clarity and accuracy.

Speech – obviously an important factor here – appeared concise and crisp. Nothing about the track soared, but it all seemed perfectly fine for the project.

A few extras appear here, and we open with an audio commentary from director Autumn de Wilde, screenwriter Eleanor Catton and director of photography Christopher Blauvelt. All three sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, period details and attempts to accuracy, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes and production design, music, photography, editing and related domains.

Expect a chatty, thorough and engaging commentary here. With de Wilde in the lead, we get a brisk discussion that touches on a nice variety of topics to become an informative track.

10 Deleted Scenes fill a total of 13 minutes, 24 seconds. As often occurs with cut footage, these tend to expand supporting roles. Most offer interesting material but none seem like the movie needed them – though it’s always fun to see more of Bill Nighy.

Dirty Old Man alert: although “Dressing Miss Woodhouse” lacks a lot of dramatic merit, it allows us a nice view of Anya Taylor-Joy in a sheer nightie. And I applaud that!

A Gag Reel runs 10 minutes, 53 seconds. That’s too long for a blooper collection, especially because this one tends toward the usual mistakes and laughter.

That said, I do like the glimpse of Taylor-Joy as she tries desperately to remain composed while a goose loudly honks in the background. Also, we get multiple uses of the “F”-word, a surprise given that the movie itself comes with a “PG” rating, especially since the commentary bleeps that form of profanity.

Three featurettes follow, and A Playful Tease goes for four minutes, 57 seconds. It includes notes from de Wilde, Taylor-Joy, and actors Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, and Callum Turner.

“Tease” looks at cast/performances as well as de Wilde’s approach to the material. It becomes a passable overview but nothing especially insightful.

The Autumn Gaze lasts four minutes, 46 seconds and features de Wilde, Taylor-Joy, Goth, O’Connor, Turner, Nighy, Flynn, production designer Kave Quinn and set decorator Stella Fox. We get more about de Wilde’s style as well as visual design choices in this moderately informative clip.

Finally, Crafting a Colorful World spans four minutes, 48 seconds and brings notes from de Wilde, Taylor-Joy, Flynn, Quinn, O’Connor, Fox, Turner, Nighy and Goth. This piece looks at costumes, locations and more design domains. It works as another reasonable overview.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Emma. It includes all the same extras except for “Gaze” and “World”.

Did the world need yet another Jane Austen adaptation? Perhaps not, but 2020’s Emma. manages to deliver a high-quality entry in that genre, one with charm and wit. The Blu-ray offers excellent visuals as well as adequate audio and a decent mix of bonus materials. Austen fans should enjoy this fresh take on the tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main