Erin Richter
April 18, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Emma

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG
runtime
121 minutes
Wide Release Date
08/02/96
performer
Jeremy Northam, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor
director
Douglas McGrath
distributor
Miramax
author
Douglas McGrath
genre
Romance, Comedy, Drama

We gave it a B+

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+

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