Fresh, Literary Family Entertainment
This updated version of Emma is a fresh, visually arresting, finely acted retelling of a favorite story. There is nothing bad here (no swear words, violence, overt sex, drug consumption, etc.) The nudity that’s getting some attention consists of two brief scenes that take place near the beginning: a man's bare bottom as he is outfitted into his clothes and a glimpse of the title character's thigh (chaste and brief). This might disrecommend the film to some, but the scenes were handled as matter of fact and were not salacious in nature. There are no real sensual scenes either, save a romantic, yet fairly innocent, kiss or two at the end. This is essentially a comedic story of early 19th-century manners that touches on class, gender roles, and the politics of romance among other things. Similar to other Austin renderings, the action is in the words and dialogue, and all the pleasure and misunderstandings that take place therein. The quick and able conversation is characteristic of the people and their corresponding social roles at the time. Older, more mature children will better appreciate the subtleties and deeper meanings of the discourse, but the film can also be enjoyed just on a simpler, more accessible level for children as young as 8 or 9 years of age who can sit through a film that provides more intelligent, witty conversation than action.