Waltzing into video stores on the petticoat tails of its surprise Academy Award win for Best Original Musical Score (which perhaps says more about Miramax’s Oscar-campaigning skills than the film’s unobtrusive yet merry soundtrack), this pleasant adaptation, Emma, nimbly evokes Jane Austen’s tricky dance of romance. At its center stands the well meaning but ultimately misguided matchmaker Emma Woodhouse (perfectly captured by Paltrow, who’s all self-satisfied smiles and perplexity) amid genteel teas, dinners, and parties. Though the film hasn’t the freshness of 1995’s Emma-based Clueless or the depth of the Emma Thompson-adapted Sense and Sensibility, it offers a cast of colorful characters whose charming schemes provide a lovely way to while away a spring day. B+
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama; Starring: Jeremy Northam, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor; Director: Douglas McGrath; Author: Douglas McGrath; Release Date Wide: 08/02/1996; Runtime (in minutes): 121; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: Miramax
Posted April 18 1997 — 12:00 AM EDT
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