Douglas McGrath’s Emma is a bit of an odd movie. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and based on Jane Austen’s perkiest novel, the film was originally released to rival a television mini series starring Kate Beckinsale, who seemed like a more natural fit than the American blonde with a crisp English accent and the swan like neck.

None the less, it is a sound adaptation of a very popular story, with a glittering cast which includes Greta Scacci, Jeremy Northam, Alan Cumming and Toni Collette and it is out now on Blu-ray.

The plot is uniformly Austen. If you have managed to avoid seeing this, or other adaptations (something of a feat in itself) then you will not be surprised to find a heroine with wit in an important position within her small community, teetering on the brink of her whole life and stumbling across people’s foibles on her journey to happy matrimony.

Despite any dissenting opinion about the casting choice for the eponymous heroine, the film itself looks sufficiently glittering and has high production values, but unfortunately the transfer to Blu-ray does little to showcase this. The ‘garden of England’ comes across quite pale and a little withered on the screen and regrettably, some of the best sets, such as the dinners and parties where the cast and location have been opulently dressed seem to have lost their shine in the translation, rather like one of Emma’s paintings that has been left out to spoil.

There are no extras on the BluRay and I suppose given the genre, there really do not need to be. You will buy it because it is an Austen adaptation and you will enjoy it over and over again. It is regrettable, however, that it does not look quite as good as it could do because it is one of this film’s chief assets.

Film: [Rating:3/5]