Probably not the most faithful adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel but it is nonetheless a visually stunning and highly enjoyable one and not to be missed. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow in the title role, Emma tells the story of a young woman of 21 who insists on meddling in matchmaking to entertain herself. Needless to say, her efforts are entirely misdirected and in addition to disrupting the lives and loves of her “beneficiaries”, she also almost misses out on happiness herself.
The cast of this film is excellent and features Toni Collette as poor, befuddled Harriet Smith, Alan Cumming as a very slimy Mr Elton, Ewan McGregor in an unfortunate wig as Frank Churchill, lovely Greta Scacchi as the soothing Miss Taylor/Mrs Weston, brilliant Juliet Stevenson as the obnoxious Mrs E, gorgeous Polly Walker as a very gracious and suitably demure but quietly courageous Jane Fairfax with the inimitable Sophie Thompson giving a star turn as poor Miss Bates.
Jeremy plays Emma’s friend and neighbour, Mr George Knightley, and this is probably the role which found him most admirers both in the UK and abroad. After having played the devious, bad boy Jack Devlin in The Net, it felt so much better to fall for his portrayal of the gentlemanly Mr Knightley. He brought an energy and wit to the role that had legions of female fans wishing he’d ride through the rain, or worse, for them and not Emma.