By ANNA LESZKIEWICZ
LONDON — The first time we see it, Mr. Knightley is naked. Later, Emma Woodhouse is heated the rear naked next to a campfire. In the scene romantic climax, Emma you have a bloody nose.
In times like these, the new film adaptation of “Emma”, Jane Austen, which premiered in movie theaters british on the 21st of February, appears to move boldly of its measured source. However, this new version of the work, often adapted from Austen is, in fact, an adaptation is quite faithful.
With a screenplay by the novelist Eleanor Catton, this is the debut feature film by Autumn de Wilde. Recent literary adaptations of the era, such as “Mujercitas”, Greta Gerwig, and “The personal history of David Copperfield”, by Armando Iannucci, have given freshness to the original texts to play with the structure and give a modern look on the social constraints. The characters in these films speak in ways that seem natural today.
This “Emma” unfolds chronologically. Much of the dialogue is taken directly from the book, and the manners of the period are present.
Inject a modern spirit “was really not the first consideration,” said Catton.
“A great story is a great story. My goal never was to modernize, but only to humanize” said De Wilde.
Adapt a work so well known as “Emma” involves some challenges. During the wave of adaptations of the works of Austen in the mid 90’s, there were at least three versions in the film of the novel.
Catton stressed that there has been no “adaptation flagship time” of the novel. His sense of humor and “style sharpened and aesthetic of the absurd” of De Wilde distinguished this “Emma”, he added.
It is true that this “Emma” highly stylized looks different to its predecessorswith lavish pastel colours, bursts of bright colors and jacks with a-frame central, reminiscent of “Marie-Antoinette” by Sofia Coppola or “The Grand Hotel Budapest” Wes Anderson.
The actress Anya Taylor-Joy does highlight the qualities objectionable to Emma. Your Emma is quietly calculator. It is a snobbish conceited and manipulative.
This Emma is allowed to be a little bit unpleasantin a time in which women unpleasant, self-centered and privileged are being celebrated on the big screen.
“It is a story about someone realizing what a self-centered, that is,” that felt so urgent in 2020 “as in any era of history,” he added.
And then there are the naked and the nose bleeding. “It was important to me that Emma seemed almost inhuman in the beginning and then became human,” said De Wilde. “We were also human in 1814”.
© 2019 The New York Times