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Emma (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  30 August 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 26,067 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 139 user | 51 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

In rural 1800s England things go bad for a young matchmaker after she finds a man for another woman.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denys Hawthorne ...
Edward Woodall ...
Brett Miley ...
Little Boy
Karen Westwood ...
Paul Williamson ...


Emma Woodhouse is a congenial young lady who delights in meddling in other people's affairs. She is perpetually trying to unite men and women who are utterly wrong for each other. Despite her interest in romance, Emma is clueless about her own feelings, and her relationship with gentle Mr. Knightly. Written by Philip Brubaker <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cupid is armed and dangerous!


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ema  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$240,649 (USA) (2 August 1996)


ITL 109,430,000 (Italy) (28 March 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The blue striped dress with long sleeves Gwyneth Paltrow (Emma Woodhouse) wears at Hartfield is the same gown worn by a guest at the Towers in the opening scene of Wives and Daughters (1999), and by Mali Harries (Ann Rood) for her wedding in Byron (2003). The same costume is also worn by one of the maids at Chawton Cottage in Miss Austen Regrets (2008), and by Laura Pyper (Jane Fairfax) while reading a letter in Emma (2009). See more »


During Mr. Knightley's proposal scene, Emma's hair changes. At first, the curls are quite close to her forehead, by the end of the scene, they are all the way back on her crown. See more »


Mr. Knightley: I can think of nothing less appealing than an evening of watching other people dance. Go on!
[throwing stick for dog to fetch]
Emma Woodhouse: Then you shall have to dance yourself.
Mr. Knightley: I have no taste for it. I'd rather fetch that stick.
Emma Woodhouse: I'll try to remember to bring it to the ball.
Mr. Knightley: [pause] I just want to stay here where it's cozy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... the people of Evershot. See more »


Featured in The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) See more »


Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
Arranged by Rachel Portman
See more »

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User Reviews

Good, but not brilliant
8 December 2002 | by (Canterbury, England) – See all my reviews

This is a good adaptation of Austen's novel. Good, but not brilliant.

The cinematography is inventive, crossing at times the border to gimmickry, but it certainly avoids the trap of making this look like a boring TV soap in costumes, given that the entire story is dialogue-driven.

The acting is competent. Ms Paltrow is aloof, as her character requires, but the required distance from the other characters is accompanied by a much less appropriate detachment from her own actions. In other words, she does not seem to care enough of the results of her match-making endeavours. Some of the supporting cast is guilty of over-acting - very much in the style that is appreciated on stage but out of place in motion pictures. Personally, I had problems accepting Alan Cumming as Mr Elton - to no fault of his own, except for having left such an impression as a gay trolley-dolly in "The High Life" that it is now difficult to accept him playing any serious part. Acting honours go to Toni Collette who manages to radiate warmth, and Jeremy Northam who pitches his character at just the right level.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Emma's comment to Miss Bates sfcivicchick
Mirrors the movie 'Clueless' djcandymann
Mr. Knightly or Mr. Darcy? ilana_ms
Social classes of those involved LDThompson-998-811981
Toni is too BIG rhoda-1
How was Gwynneth's accent? lori-cakes
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