Emma (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes


Emma (1996)



Critic Consensus: Emma marks an auspicious debut for writer-director Douglas McGrath, making the most of its Jane Austen source material -- and a charming performance from Gwyneth Paltrow.

Emma Photos

Movie Info

Based on a comic novel by 19th century author Jane Austen's , this medium-budget romance features charming, sprightly humor chronicles the painful lessons learned by a well-meaning, over-confident upper class young woman who honestly believes she has the power to find a proper mate for anyone. Miss Emma Woodhouse is beautiful, bright and a bit of a know-it-all.. Living on a beautiful country estate with her daft father, she prides herself on her ability to repair broken hearts and to help others find romantic bliss. She would use many words to describe herself, but meddlesome busybody, are not among them. Still that is exactly what she is. Her latest venture is to find a proper husband for lovely Harriet Smith, a woman of undistinguished breeding. With all the subtly of a run-away cart Emma begins trying to fix poor Harriet, who is actually in love with a kindly young farmer, up with the dubious Reverend Elton, who secretly loves the unaware Emma. Somehow, Emma gets her scheme working with Swiss-watch precision until dashing, loquacious Frank Churchill and taciturn, exotic Jane Fairfax show up to throw a spanner in her carefully orchestrated works. Things become quite tangled until the handsome family friend, Mr. Knightly gives Emma a serious heart-to-heart chat.

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Gwyneth Paltrow
as Emma Woodhouse
Jeremy Northam
as Mr. Knightly
Toni Collette
as Harriet Smith
Greta Scacchi
as Mrs. Weston
Alan Cumming
as Rev. Elton
Juliet Stevenson
as Mrs. Elton
Ewan McGregor
as Frank Churchill
Polly Walker
as Jane Fairfax
Sophie Thompson
as Miss Bates
Phyllida Law
as Mrs. Bates
James Cosmo
as Mr. Weston
Denys Hawthorne
as Mr. Woodhouse
Brian Capron
as John Knightley
Rebecca Craig
as Miss Martin
View All

News & Interviews for Emma

Critic Reviews for Emma

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (15)

Emma's' unforced charm is a remarkable achievement for a first-time writer-director.

February 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Suddenly you remember how merciless and cutting Austen's satire can be, even in the brutal '90s.

August 19, 2006 | Full Review…

When the going gets tougher the film doesn't have many answers, and the odd unsettling surge of over-emphasis betrays an eye on the American market.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Gwyneth Paltrow makes a resplendent Emma, gliding through the film with an elegance and patrician wit that bring the young Katharine Hepburn to mind.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

It's not difficult to enjoy the genteel amusements Emma provides even while wishing its virtues were less wholly on the surface.

February 14, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

[Paltrow] plays the title role in Emma with wit, timing and a to-the-manor-born graciousness...It's an intelligent performance from an actress everyone was ready to dismiss as a lightweight.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Emma


Very delightful.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

I don't know why everyone loves this movie I thought it was extremely boring.

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer


Martin Sahlin
Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

Emma Quotes

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