Emma (1996) short review


MILES better than the Gwynnie feature film version, Kate Beckinsale really nails the role of Emma as well as having some darn good hats. The rest of the cast is equally fabulous, and the costuming is just as near to perfect as you can get. Fun, funny, romantic, Austen — what’s not to like? Only down side is that Mark Strong is a bit too comb-over-y.


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

3 Responses

  1. ladylavinia1932

    I wasn’t that impressed by this adaptation of “Emma” in compare to the other three versions. Kate Beckinsale wasn’t that funny in 1997. Actually, Doran Godwin was funnier. Andrew Davies’ script seemed more focused on class distinction in the Highbury neighborhood than Austen’s novel. I also thought that Samantha Morton was a bit wasted.

  2. MrsC (Maryanne)

    I absolutely love this film while also being quite amazed at how very 1990s the costuming is looking back – brown velvet floppy hats, V neck ruffles, more brown – fascinating!

  3. Amanda J Shirk

    Id argue that the costuming leaves a lot to be desired. I think Emma and Mrs Weston divided Mrs Bennet 95’s wardrobe between them. And the only actual colour anyone ever seems to wear is mint green? Everything else is a Study in Brown.