(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Emma.
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max
The Pitch: In Regency-era England, the “handsome, clever, and rich” Emma Woodhouse fills her long, lazy hours by matchmaking her friends and family, but finds herself wildly out of her depth and humbled by her own missteps and mistakes.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: It’s kind of insane that Anya Taylor-Joy has only just found her first major mainstream hit with Netflix’s recent miniseries The Queen’s Gambit — the American-Argentine-British actress has been lighting up the screen since her first breakout role in 2015’s The Witch, and has only proven her movie-star charisma with each new role. But before The Queen’s Gambit, the movie that really displayed Taylor-Joy’s latent star power was Emma., in which the actress flexed her comedy skills by taking on the unenviable task of portraying Jane Austen’s least-loved heroine.
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Emma. is now on digital, and to help spread the word, we’re sharing an exclusive clip from Autumn de Wilde‘s acclaimed Jane Austen adaptation. The clip below has de Wilde talking about assembling the perfect cast for the film – a cast that includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, and Bill Nighy.
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As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic grows and more businesses and movie theaters close, Hollywood studios have been left with nowhere to drop their theatrical releases. While some studios chose to delay their biggest feature films until the worst of the pandemic passes, a few studios decided to break the monotony of everyone’s self-isolation (and help keep a few kids entertained) by releasing their theatrical films on digital platforms early. Most films available to buy digitally about 74 days after they first arrive in theaters, but studios are breaking that tradition by releasing their films on VOD mere weeks after, or even on the same day of, the theatrical debut.
Here is an ongoing list of the films that have been or will be released early.
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With almost all the movie theaters closed around the United States, movie studios are releasing some recent and upcoming theatrical releases on VOD much further in advance than usual. Universal Pictures was the first to take a step in this direction, and they’ll be shaking things up even more when they release Trolls: World Tour on VOD on the same date it was intended to be released in theaters. Since then, other studios have followed suit with movies like Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot arriving on VOD early. So Amazon has unveiled a dedicated space for them to be featured, and it’s called Amazon Prime Cinema.
As for how the former theatrical releases of movies like The Invisible Man and Onward are faring so far, it’s only Disney’s latest Pixar Animation adventure that seems to have cracked Top 10 lists. Instead, it’s the cheaper VOD movies that were more recently released on home video have been dominating the charts. Get the lowdown below. Read More »
Earlier this week, NBCUniversal became the first major Hollywood studio to shatter the traditional theatrical window by announcing that some of its films which recently debuted in theaters would be heading to VOD on an accelerated timeline. Each of those films – Focus Features’ Emma., and Universal Pictures’ The Hunt and The Invisible Man – are available to rent today due to the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus, and the filmmakers behind all three movies are participating in live tweets of their respective projects to help celebrate this odd occasion.
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It’s often overlooked how adept a satirist Jane Austen was, with most adaptations of the English literary icon’s works favoring the swooning romances and feminist themes of her novels. But more than any other past adaptation, barring the wildly underrated and wildly funny Love & Friendship, Emma. captures that tongue-in-cheek and whip-smart tone of Austen’s work.
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(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)
If you’ve seen all the /Film coverage from Sundance and gotten eager to sample the year’s first crop of new movies, you’re in luck! A number of them are hitting theaters almost immediately following their Park City debuts (plus a few on Netflix, including Dee Rees’ supposed bust The Last Thing He Wanted), and that’s on top of what looks like a promising crop of new releases on the studio side of things. If you’re looking to prepare for February’s openings, or perhaps just preparing a double feature with one half at home, here are some viewing options for you.
(Of note: I was not able to include a film for February’s biggest release, Birds of Prey, because director Cathy Yan’s debut feature still does not have U.S. distribution. Dead Pigs somehow got enough attention to get her a gig directing a giant movie for DC Comics, yet no distributor wants to put her prior film out there over two years after it premiered at Sundance. Justice for Dead Pigs, Cathy Yan and female filmmakers of color!)
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Jane Austen’s Emma gets a new reimagining from photographer-turned-director Autumn de Wilde, making her feature debut. Anya Taylor-Joy is in the role of the eponymous heroine, who loves to play matchmaker but has no need for a love of her own. Until she does. Lots of British humor and scenes of people in frock coats follow. Watch the Emma trailer below.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Jane Austen’s classic comedy Emma has been adapted several times in a variety of different ways. Gwyneth Paltrow starred in a film adaptation back in 1996, BBC turned it into a miniseries in 2009, and the classic teen comedy Clueless gave us a modern spin on the tale that may as well be the definitive adaptation of the story. But director Autumn de Wilde may have offered some competition in a new adaptation that keeps the period setting but seems to have a quirky, contemporary comedic sensibility. Watch the Emma trailer below. Read More »
If you’re not a classic literature fan, then you may not be familiar with Emma, a novel written by Jane Austen. The book was adapted into a film of the same name starring Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996, however, the year before it was adapted in a much different fashion in the form of the generation-defining high school comedy Clueless. Funnily enough, Clueless was just announced to be getting a remake, and now another new Emma adaptation is in the works too. Read More »