“Seriously! Can no one come up with a NEW story?!” I ranted at the petite blonde staring at me from the movie poster on the theater hallway wall.
I decided then and there that I would NOT succumb to the flashy allure of a retold tale. (Yes, I know that I was being prejudice.) This tea drinking, Jane Austen loving, anglophile would not spend over $12 to see yet another version.
Fast forward 3 months… Quarantine doldrums were knocking on my parent’s log cabin door where I live. We all needed some levity. Tight curls and a smug smile floated into my memory. I knew just what we needed.
I paid the $20 to rent, Autumn de Wilde’s Emma.
The opening scenes inviting me into Hartfiled (Filmed at Firle Place below) transported me to England. Pure delight. And Bill Nighy skipping down the stairs kicked all of my prejudice out the door. I was immediately won over. Nighy’s footmen made me giggle every time they came on screen, marching partitions around the room and searching for possible drafts. The film provided the much needed family levity. Wilde seemed to have had tea with George Bernard Shaw and Wes Anderson when she dreamed of creating this high-tea for the imagination. This 2020 adaptation of Emma was entirely new! The cast and crew made me feel as if I was a part an elaborate “stage” play, the stage being the English countryside.The romantic element is presented with an all too real sense of humor which endeared the film to me even more.
And there she sits… Anya Taylor-Joy as “Emma” sipping tea and knowing that she was absolutely right all along. She knew I’d love her rendition of Emma.P.s. If anyone can tell me what tea service is used at Hartfield… I’d much appreciate it.I spent over an hour researching and only narrowed it down to vintage Royal Albert (pictured below).
Annie Mae Platter: A proper anglophile, literary nerd, and theologian. She recently admitted to 2 hobbies: vintage British pottery and turn of the century publishing companies. She funds her love for old books, travel, loose leaf tea, and pretentious coffee by managing international software engineers.