As of Tuesday, May 19, 2020 — Autumn de Wilde’s lush adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma is now available for you to own and OMG do you want to own it. Just the film by itself is positively delightful, and the Blu-ray disc is packed with the kind of special features I love!
Here’s a breakdown of these great additions:
- Feature commentary with Director Autumn de Wilde, Screenwriter Eleanor Catton, and Director of Photography Christoph Blauvelt
Man oh man, I really miss the days when Director commentary was the norm for EVERY film! This very comprehensive commentary is perfect — bringing insights from Autumn and Eleanor on location choices, why dialog and scenes were shifted a bit from the novel, behind-the-scenes stories, appreciation for the actors, and just lovely observations. Blauvelt takes a backseat here and lets the two women do most of the talking, but Wilde is very complimentary about his work, calling out his amazing sense of lighting, particularly in the darkest indoor scenes. I also learned that things I thought were over-the-top and deliberately exaggerated were actually period! For example, Mrs. Elton’s Disney-esque wicked stepsister hair shaped into a bow was a thing for real in Georgian society. And those schoolgirl red cloaks aren’t just a subtle nod to The Handmaid’s Tale; they existed in that time. WHO KNEW? (de Wilde knew, because she hired historical experts to guide everything from the set design and costumes to the etiquette of each character).
A Playful Tease
A short featurette that contains interviews with cast and crew on the making of Emma. This is cute, but pretty straightforward in terms of special features. Like something you would see on the Entertainment Weekly website.
The Autumn Gaze
In this featurette, de Wilde and cast talk about how her unique photographer’s eye informed the look of Emma., discussing colors, sets, costumes, and the art of creating a scene. All things in which I am super into! I’m particularly fond of Mia Goth’s intro here, where she says that de Wilde married Austen’s world with a rock-and-roll texture.
Creating a Colorful World
In which de Wilde explains how she slightly exaggerated color within each setting to achieve the look she wanted. Another thing I learned specifically from this bonus feature is that in The Georgian Period, color was how you showed your wealth! Which explains why there were so many bright candy colors splashed around the Woodhouse and Knightly estates.
Who doesn’t want MORE Emma.? I mean, I do. I definitely do. There are some gems in here that show the patience required by the actors for scene setups, plus some lovely little additions to flesh out more of the characters we didn’t see a lot of, including Mr. Churchill and Ms. Jane Fairfax.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blooper reel feature that shows just how much fun filming a movie actually was. But really it’s clear from all of these bonus features that the entire cast had THE BEST TIME filming Emma.! Also, Anya Taylor-Joy and Mia Goth’s BFF giggles will make you smile forever.
My Austenite heart is even more complete having devoured every single special feature on this disc, and if you enjoyed the film as much as I do, I heartily recommend a purchase.
Bonus tip: Follow Autumn on Instagram for some GORGEOUS photo content, including behind-the-scenes pics taken on the Emma. set.