Emma (2020 film)

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Emma poster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAutumn de Wilde
Produced by
Screenplay byEleanor Catton
Based onEmma
by Jane Austen
Music by
CinematographyChristopher Blauvelt
Edited byNick Emerson
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
  • 14 February 2020 (2020-02-14) (United Kingdom)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$25.2 million[1][2]

Emma.[a] is a 2020 British comedy-drama film directed by Autumn de Wilde, from a screenplay by Eleanor Catton, based on Jane Austen's 1815 novel of the same name. Its story follows Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who interferes in the love lives of her friends. It stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O'Connor, Callum Turner, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, and Bill Nighy.

It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2020, and in the United States on 21 February 2020. It received generally favourable reviews from critics, and grossed $25 million worldwide.


In Regency-era England, wealthy Emma Woodhouse searches for a new companion after her governess, Miss Taylor, marries and becomes Mrs. Weston. Emma settles on Harriet Smith, a younger girl whom Emma supposes is the unclaimed child of a gentleman; Harriet's parents are unknown but her education has been provided for. Emma learns that Mr. Robert Martin, a tenant farmer of her sister's husband's brother, Mr. Knightley, has proposed to Harriet. Though claiming she will not interfere, Emma manipulates Harriet into declining Mr. Martin's offer of marriage, much to Harriet's distress. Emma believes that Mr. Elton, the local vicar, is in love with Harriet and encourages Harriet to transfer her hopes to him.

At Christmas time, Emma's older sister and Mr. Knightley's younger brother come to visit. After everyone leaves dinner with the Westons early, Emma finds herself alone in a carriage with Mr. Elton, who declares his love for her. Emma promptly refuses him and Mr. Elton disappears for six weeks, eventually returning with a wife. Two much-talked-about members of Emma's social circle appear: Jane Fairfax, the governess niece of Miss Bates, and Frank Churchill, Mr. Weston's son from his first marriage. Emma grows jealous of Jane, but is entranced by Frank.

Frank's arrival prompts the Westons to hold a ball, where Mr. Elton embarrasses Harriet by pointedly refusing to dance with her. She is rescued by Mr. Knightley, who asks her to dance. Emma and Mr. Knightley also dance together, awakening romantic feelings between them. Though Emma leaves before Mr. Knightley can speak to her, he runs to her home only for their meeting to be interrupted by Frank, who has rescued Harriet after she was set upon by gypsies. Harriet intimates to Emma that she has fallen in love again, leading Emma to believe Harriet is in love with Frank. Emma again vows not to interfere, but manipulates circumstances so that Harriet and Frank may spend more time together.

Emma tries to spend more time with Mr. Knightley and is surprised when he repeatedly ignores her. On a picnic with their entire party of social acquaintances, Frank urges them to play a game to amuse Emma, who unthinkingly insults Miss Bates, leading the party to disband in discomfort. Mr. Knightley rebukes Emma for her behaviour, and a humiliated Emma apologizes to Miss Bates, who accepts her apology without question.

Frank Churchill's wealthy aunt dies, and he is no longer required to be at her beck and call. The Westons reveal that he has been secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax and was waiting for the death of his aunt, who was opposed to the match. The Westons had hoped he would marry Emma, but Emma is only distressed on account of Harriet. Emma breaks the news to Harriet, who reveals that she is actually in love with Mr. Knightley. Harriet realizes that Emma herself is in love with Mr. Knightley.

Mr. Knightley goes to Emma to comfort her about the news of Frank, and to reveal that he is in love with her and hopes to marry her. Initially pleased with his offer of marriage, Emma develops a nosebleed when she realizes how upset Harriet will be. Interfering one last time, she goes to Mr. Martin to make amends, offering him a portrait of Harriet she drew herself. Harriet tells Emma she has accepted Mr. Martin's offer of marriage, and that her father has revealed himself now that she is of age; he is not a gentleman, but a tradesman who makes galoshes. Emma congratulates Harriet and invites her and her father to her home.

Though Emma and Mr. Knightley are very much in love, Emma is distressed at the thought of leaving her father alone. To accommodate her wishes, Mr. Knightley suggests that rather than have Emma quit her father's home, he join them there. Emma happily agrees and the two are married.



In October 2018, Anya Taylor-Joy was cast in the film adaptation of Emma, with Autumn de Wilde making her directorial debut with the film.[4] In December 2018, Johnny Flynn joined the cast of the film.[5]

In March 2019, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Josh O'Connor, Callum Turner, Miranda Hart, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson and Tanya Reynolds joined the cast of the film.[6] Alexandra Byrne was costume designer for the film.[7] Principal photography began on 18 March 2019.[8][9]

Firle Place in Sussex was used for the exterior of Emma’s home.[10] Other filming locations included Lower Slaughter (exteriors) in the Cotswolds standing in for the village of Highbury, Wilton House near Salisbury in Wiltshire and Chavenage House at Beverston, Gloucestershire.[10]


It was released in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2020, coinciding with Valentine's Day, and was released in the United States on 21 February 2020.[11]

Emma was released on 20 March to streaming platforms in response to increased restrictions on screenings in movie theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] The film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 19 May 2020.[13]


Box office[edit]

Emma grossed $10.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $15.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $25.2 million.[1][2]

The film made $230,000 from five theaters in its opening weekend for a per-venue average of $46,000, the highest of 2020 at that point.[14] The film went wide two weeks later, grossing $5 million from 1,565 theaters and finishing sixth at the box office.[15]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 86% based on 191 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.19/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Other adaptations may do a better job of consistently capturing the spirit of the classic source material, but Jane Austen fans should still find a solid match in this Emma."[16] On Metacritic, the film was assigned a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 45 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[17]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported it received an average 3 out of 5 stars, with 44% of people they surveyed saying they would definitely recommend it.[15]


  1. ^ The title of the film has a period attached to signify its being a period piece.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Emma. (2020)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Emma". The Numbers. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  3. ^ Carr, Flora (14 February 2020). "Emma. director Autumn de Wilde explains the film's unusual punctuation". Radio Times.
  4. ^ Kit, Borys (25 October 2018). "Anya Taylor-Joy to Star in Jane Austen Adaptation 'Emma' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  5. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (20 December 2018). "Johnny Flynn Joins Focus Features-Working Title's 'Emma'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  6. ^ Grater, Tom (21 March 2019). "Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Josh O'Connor, Callum Turner board 'Emma' for Working Title, Blueprint (exclusive)". Screen International. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Alexandra Byrne". Independent Talent. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Production Weekly" (PDF). Production Weekly. No. 1123. 20 December 2018. p. 19. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  9. ^ de Wilde, Autumn (18 March 2019). "DAY ONE of production complete". Instagram.com. Retrieved 19 March 2019. I am thrilled to announce that I am directing Jane Austen’s ”Emma” starring @anyataylorjoy for @focusfeatures @workingtitlefilms & @blueprint.pictures // screenplay by eleanorcatton // photo by @anyataylorjoy // @emmafilm // “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.” // #emma #hansomecleverandrich
  10. ^ a b Medd, James. "Where was 'Emma' filmed?". CN Traveller.
  11. ^ "Emma". Launching Films. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  12. ^ Johnson, Save (20 March 2020). "Watch The Invisible Man, The Hunt and Emma at home starting today". CNET. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  13. ^ "What's New on DVD, Blu-ray, Digital and VOD – May 5, 2020". Tribute.ca.
  14. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (23 February 2020). "'Emma' Delivers Charming Opening, 'Impractical Jokers: The Movie' Laughs Its Way To $2M Debut – Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  15. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (8 March 2020). "'Onward' Seeing Blasé $40M Domestic Opening, $68M WW: Are Coronavirus Fears Impacting B.O.? – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Emma. (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Emma. Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 7 March 2020.

External links[edit]