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Dancing, decadence and bare bottoms breathe life into ‘Emma’

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor February 20, 2020 12:54

Jane Austen‘s classic novel ‘Emma’ has been given a vibrant update and a punctuation mark in ‘Emma.’.

The film, which is directed by Autumn de Wilde, features bright colors and a critically-acclaimed performance by Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays the titular character.

Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday (February 19), Taylor-Joy, who has appeared ‘The Witch’ and ‘Split’, said “I think we’re really putting the emphasis on how funny the writing is and how witty it is and we’re enjoying laughing with and at the characters. I think that sometimes people forget that ‘Emma’ is very much a comedy.”

The filmmakers remake the early 1800s Britain with lashings of extravagant outfits, hairstyles and decor.

“Johnny describes it as a warm bath and I describe it like a cupcake so it’s like warm bath/cupcake,” said Taylor-Joy, adding “It feels really wonderful to be there and it all looks so beautiful and it really helped you get into the world because you were almost like a little puzzle piece that just had to come in. Everything was already perfect and then you just go in and you get to play.”

‘Emma.’ is about a proud young woman who is held in high esteem in her home village of Highbury. While she’s eager to get involved with other people’s lives, she is blind to her own shortcomings – something only pointed out to her by her loyal, patient and longtime friend George Knightley (Johnny Flynn).

Flynn said of their pairing: “It just immediately felt like we’d have a sense of trust and you know, in those big argument scenes, we have to talk at a million miles per minute and it’s technically really hard but it feels like a dance that you can learn the push and the pull.”

Choreography is also front and center of the film, with characters moving in sync with each other throughout the movie before culminating in a dance scene.

One element that may surprise Austen fans is that both of the central characters get their bare bottoms out early in the film.

For Taylor-Joy, it was an element that came from historical etchings at the time, but it was different for Flynn.

He said “The stripping off thing, it was Autumn’s idea about kind of, she talks about it as indulging the female gaze to give some equality to the way that bodies have been objectified over the last few decades in cinema so I was happy to be a small part in that statement.”

‘Emma.’ will be released in the US on February 21.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor February 20, 2020 12:54