Tag Archives: emma

EMMA (2020) – My rating: 7/10

Emma is a period comedy-drama directed by Autumn de Wilde, from a screenplay by Eleanor Catton, based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel of the same name. The film follows the story of a wealthy and elegant young woman living with her father in Regency-Era England. This version of Emma, in my opinion, was not as good as others I’ve seen but managed to be quite entertaining.

During the Regency-era England, wealthy, beautiful Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) who lives in the Hartfield Estate with her father Mr. Woodhouse (Bill Nighy), searches for a new companion after her governess, Miss Taylor (Gemma Whelan) marries and becomes Mrs. Weston. Emma settles on Harriet Smith (Mia Goth), a younger girl whom Emma assumes 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 (Connor Swindells), a tenant farmer of Mr. George Knightley (Johnny Flynn), who is the brother of Emma’s brother-in-law John Knightley (Oliver Chris),  has proposed to Harriet. While claiming that she would not interfere, Emma manipulates Harriet into declining Mr. Martin’s offer of marriage, much to Harriet’s distress. Emma believes that Mr. Elton (Josh O’Connor), the local vicar (reverend) is in love with Harriet and encourages Harriet to transfer her hopes to him, despite Mr. Geroge Knightley’s warning that she (Emma the matchmaker) should not involve herself in the situation.

At Christmas time, Emma’s older sister Isabella Knightley (Chloe Pirrie), and her husband, John Knightley, who is George’s younger brother, come for a visit. Mr. Weston (Rupert Graves) and his wife host a dinner, due to the weather, everyone leaves early. Emma finds herself alone in a carriage with Mr. Elton, who declares his love for her. Flabbergasted, Emma promptly rejects him, so Mr. Elton disappears for six weeks and eventually returns with a wife, Augusta (Tanya Reynolds). There is much chatter regarding eligible bachelor, Frank Churchill (Callum Turner) who finally appears on the scene but is tied to his sick, wealthy, dying aunt.  On a picnic with their entire party of social acquaintances, Miss Bates (Miranda Hart), a good friend who talks excessively, announces her beloved niece Jane Fairfax (Amber Anderson) will be arriving soon.

This version of Emma did not appeal to me as much as others I’ve seen.  Emma’s matchmaking is harmless enough but she almost self-sabotages her entire future not to mention causing anguish and despair to others. Often she skates much too close to the rail.  There are several families, eligible bachelors, unmarried young women, and endless friends available for Emma to manipulate.  The film needs to be very clear on whos who, including their relationship to each other.  Perhaps a family tree may have been in order — I’m just saying.  It took me a minute to sort it all out since I hadn’t seen Emma in years.  Once I and the film got it straight, it all came to light.  I dare say, Emma is a Jane Ayre classic that’s funny and entertaining no matter who remakes it.  This period piece is fun to watch and worth seeing.  On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 87% based on 252 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.30/10. The website’s critic’s 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.” It will be fun to see who ends up with who. EMMA is streaming on  HBOMAX and Prime Video — Check It Out!


[EMMA is Oscar-nominated at the 93rd Academy Awards for Best: Costume Design as well as Makeup and Hairstyling — Totaling 2 Nominations]


BREAKTHROUGH (2019) – My rating: 8.5/10

Breakthrough is a Christian drama directed by Roxann Dawson and written by Grant Nieporte, based on the Christian book named The Impossible, an account of true events written by Joyce Smith with Ginger Kolbaba. Breakthrough tells the story of a St. Louis teenager who slipped through an icy lake in January of 2015 and was under the water for fifteen minutes before resuscitative efforts were started.
  Bring tissues, Breakthrough is a true tear-jerker.

John Smith (Marcel Ruiz) is a fourteen-year-old Guatemalan boy raised in Lake St. Louis, Missouri by his adoptive parents, Brian (Josh Lucas) and Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz). Though they were loving and supportive, John struggled with abandonment issues, feeling his birth parents didn’t want him.  Although his adoptive parents tried to explain that there are many reasons to give a child up for adoption, their explanations fell on deaf ears.  John developed a pretty bad attitude and rebelled against his parents and teachers.

In Christian Middle school, John’s class was assigned the task of presenting a narrative about their family background. On his day to present, John admits he did not do the assignment. His basketball coach Paul (Danny Wattley), who had promised him a starting position, warns John that if he gets a failing grade, he will be benched. John later gives a half-hearted presentation, saying that everyone already knows he is adopted and he does not know much about his true background. John was an avid basketball player who stood a chance of playing professionally someday, except he didn’t share and had a habit of hogging the ball.  Being popular, he didn’t think there were consequences for his actions until he and his friends Josh (Isaac Kragten) and Reiger (Nikolas Dukic) went out onto a frozen lake, ignoring a neighbor’s (Cory Wojcik) warning. The resident calls the police, and all three boys fall through the ice. Josh and Reiger manage to swim to the surface and are rescued by first responders. Two rescuers dive in but are unable to find John. As they are about to give up, one of the rescuers, Tommy Shine (Mike Colter), hears a voice telling him to go back. Thinking the voice came from his chief (Chuck Shamata), he tries again and manages to find and lift John to the surface. With no pulse or breath, John is taken to the local hospital. After John still fails to register a pulse, the attending physician Dr. Sutterer (Sam Trammell) gives Joyce a chance to say goodbye. A weeping Joyce cradles her son in her arms, pleading with the Holy Spirit not to let John die.

What happens next, is one for the books.  Breakthrough is a true story and is called a spiritual or faith-based movie.  For me, Breakthrough is the way it should be for each of us who believes in GOD and has true faith.  If anyone I knew fell through the ice into a freezing cold lake, you can bet I’d pray non-stop for their recovery until something happened, good or bad.  These boys used their free will, albeit dumb, when they decided to do something they were warned not to do.  GOD had nothing to do with them falling through the ice but everything to do, through prayer, with getting them out.  Breakthrough was well-acted, despite the disastrous situation, entertaining and most informative.  There were many touching scenes and an abundance of prayer from friends, the family’s pastor, Jason Noble (Topher Grace), schoolmates and even their expert, Dr. Garrett (Dennis Haysbert). Because there is no explanation, rhyme or reason for many events that took place, we recognize the events as miracles, which were happening all over the place.

Breakthrough received mixed to positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances and inspirational messages but called the plot predictable despite being a true story. According to the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 61% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 62 reviews; the average rating is 5.52/10. The website’s critics consensus reads, “Like its lead character, Breakthrough is fiercely focused on faith – but its less subtle elements are balanced by strong performances and an uplifting story.” Breakthrough grossed $40.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $9.7 million in other territories (including $5.9 million in Brazil), for a worldwide total of $50.4 million. I highly recommend Breakthrough, so Check It Out!

[BREAKTHROUGH is Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song — Totaling 1 Oscar nomination]


ONCE UPON A TIME – My rating: 8.5/10

OnceUponATimeYou can do anything with a little imagination.  Already well established fairy tales and other children’s stories are embellished to make this, not so childish series, appealing to old and young alike.  Since the beginning of Once Upon a Time, Snow White, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Rumpelstiltskin, Pinocchio, Jimmy the Cricket, Jack and the Bean Stalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Robin Hood and his Merry Band of Men, The wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel and many more were all explored before taking on a life of its own.  Recurring characters like Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) , Red Riding Hood/Ruby (Meghan Ory ), Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), Captain Hook/Hook (Colin O’Donoghue ), Prince Charming/David Nolan (Josh Dallas), Emma Swan/the savior (Jennifer Morrison), Henry (Jared Gilmore), The Evil Queen/Regina (Lana Parillia) and others are interwoven into a complex story of good vs evil in an unknown and unseen town called Storybrook.  This series is in it’s 3rd season and still going strong.  There are 3 worlds in this story: the present (New York), The past (the enchanted forest) and Storybrook, a place where there was no magic.  All that has changed as well as the story and the characters.

Once Upon A Time is quite interesting and has continued to wow it’s audience.  Emma and Neil had a son he didn’t know about when she was very young.  Having no sound means to raise a child, she gave him up for adoption.  Enters Regina who adopts and raises the child, known as Henry.  Henry discovers a book of fairy tales given to him by his teacher, Mary Margaret who is really Snow White as well as Henry’s grandmother.  Henry suspects they are all characters from his book, with no memory of their true past, so he sets out to find “the savior” who is also his biological mom, Emma who lives in New York.

Confused? Catch this exciting series in full on Netflix.  Once Upon A Time airs on ABC.