Maybe it’s the whiplash humor, or perhaps it’s the telltale music of Antonio Vivaldi in this trailer, but the new Emma is throwing some serious The Favourite vibes in this trailer. This reimagining of the Jane Austen classic novel never looked quite as wickedly funny, not when Gwyneth Paltrow starred as the title character in 1996 (in a rather earnest take) or when Alicia Silverstone played an Emma-inspired teen in Clueless (which went the Beverly Hills vibe). Anna Taylor-Joy (The Dark Crystal) picks up the matchmaking mantle, and it looks like the character’s efforts will be as disastrous as ever.
The truest joy of this trailer appears to be Bill Nighy taking on Mr. Woodhouse with aplomb, but Taylor-Joy certainly puts an appropriately satiric spin on Emma. She’ll undoubtedly be served well by the absence of nostalgia for Gwyneth Paltrow (who’s irrevocably tied to the GOOP image now) as the matchmaker, but there might be some longing for missing actors of yesteryear. That would include Alan Cumming as Mr. Elton and Toni Collette as Harriet, and of course, nothing against Josh O’Connor or Mia Goth, but those are some substantial shoes to fill. Meanwhile, Johnny Flynn’s stepping in as the new Mr. Knightley (formerly portrayed by Jeremy Northam) and seems “sensible” enough, although a slightly darker take on that character might have been welcome with this update. From the synopsis:
Jane Austen’s beloved comedy about finding your equal and earning your happy ending, is reimagined in this delicious new film adaptation of Emma. Handsome, clever, and rich, Emma Woodhouse is a restless queen bee without rivals in her sleepy little town. In this glittering satire of social class and the pain of growing up, Emma must adventure through misguided matches and romantic missteps to find the love that has been there all along.
Emma comes back to theaters on February 21, 2020.