EMILY puts two English characters within the framework of a stereotypically French film, deconstructing a common sexual fantasy to explore the moment two strangers meet and attempt to fill their loneliness with each others' need.
A young independent woman who lives with her grandmother and aunt in the countryside rebels against being pressured into marriage and chooses to solely focus on having a career as a writer. Nevertheless, two suitors propose to her.
The last summer, shown in major flashbacks, dashing archaeologist Joseph (Luke Treadaway) has brilliantly flirted with upper middle-class girl Dolly Thatcham (Felicity Jones), delighting her cute naughty kid brother Jimmy (Ben Greaves-Neal) and even her headless younger sister Annie (Eva Traynor), yet antagonized their mother, stuck-up widow Mrs. Thatcham (Elizabeth McGovern). When bashful Dolly refused to accompany Joseph on a Greek excavation due to his commitment problems, she was afterwards sent on an Albanian holiday, met stuffy diplomat Owen (James Norton) and got engaged. At the wedding day, Dolly hesitated whether she was giving up on her best chance for happiness, and Joseph turned up, but the party guests and obligations kept getting in the way of actually talking it through.Written by
Throughout the movie, Joseph (Luke Treadaway) is frequently asked about the difference between two identical twins who were invited for the wedding ceremony (he even mocks them at some point). In real-life, Luke is the identical twin of Harry Treadaway, who is also an actor. See more »
The opening credits play over a close up of an old fashioned printing press in action, which eventually produces the invitations to the wedding which is the subject and the setting of the film. See more »
Because of the presence of Elizabeth McGovern and other similar traits of an early 20th century English estate family, this movie felt like a failed script for the TV program Downton Abbey. There was no particular compelling reason for this story to be greenlit in the manner it was produced except to take advantage of this similarity.
It's nice to see the subtle anti-romance character traits of the two leads play out over the narrative, but it's more curiously interesting than it is intensely interesting. The sophomoric foreshadowing and symbolism feel extremely contrived and almost insulting. The scenes that should be amusing are not amusing. The cleverish storytelling isn't clever enough to make you want to care about anyone or what happens to them. And the big reveal isn't at all revelatory, but serves more as a device to unlock the grand mystery of why these people behave the way they do. Sad to say, the mystery isn't all that grand and the viewer is left with the bad taste of being inexpertly manipulated.
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