Critics 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.



Total Count: 50


Audience Score

User Ratings: 61,181
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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
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News & Interviews for Emma

Critic Reviews for Emma

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (15)

Audience Reviews for Emma

  • Apr 23, 2011
    "Maybe it is our Imperfections that make us so wonderful for each other" An interesting study of a young upper class woman Emma Woodhouse (Gwyneth Paltrow) whose position of privilege in English country society allows her to meddle in the private affairs of others! She tries to be a matchmaker for her friend Harriet (Toni Collette) with the nice young reverend Elton (Alan Cumming), but it turns out he was only interested in Emma! Problems ahead for everyone involved. Throughout the movie, Emma's unsuccessful matchmaking attempts and other obstacles help her to see the error in her ways and to consequently become a better person. The two most important men in Emma's life are her father (Denys Hawthorne) and Mr. Knightley (Jeremy Northam), her lifelong friend who is the shining star in the movie. He perfectly blends upper class haughtiness with gentlemanly strength to create a character every female secretly wants to be swept away by. No offense but Ewan McGregor looked hideous in comparison.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2010
    I don't know why everyone loves this movie I thought it was extremely boring.
    Cassie H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 04, 2010
    Before Gwyneth became annoying, she actually created some memorable performances. This was..I believe...the first film of hers that I saw and despite my dislike for period pieces, I enjoyed it.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2009
    Emma was an adaptation of Jane Austen novel. I saw some of her other novels and I have to say she was such a good writer with good sense of humor. Emma was a fun movie with great dialog and good acting. Gwyneth, once again, amazing, like she was in Shakespeare.It was not such a deep and moving story, but it was enjoyable. If you are an Austen fan I recommend you Emma.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer

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