Deborah Yaffe

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Promising news about Emma

By Deborah Yaffe, Mar 28 2019 01:00PM

The upcoming big-screen adaptation of Emma has acquired a complete cast list, and for those of us who delight in fine British character acting, the news is excellent.


It remains to be discovered whether Anya Taylor-Joy, an interesting actor with a slightly off-center vibe, can pull off the misplaced self-confidence of the title role -- I haven't yet seen an Emma I would consider definitive, unless you count Alicia Silverstone in Clueless. But I have no doubt that the always-fun-to-watch Bill Nighy will be a smashing Mr. Woodhouse, or that Miranda Hart, skilled at blending humor and pathos, will do justice to Miss Bates.


And then there’s the casting of Gemma Whelan, the badass Yara Greyjoy of Game of Thrones, as sensible yet pliant Mrs. Weston. I can’t help thinking how much better – or at least differently – Emma Woodhouse would have turned out if only she’d had Yara for a governess. If that woman told you to get to work on your reading list, you’d get it done.


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