Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Rupert Graves, Gemma Whelan, Amber Anderson, Tanya Reynolds
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Jane Austen’s romantic comedy directed by Autumn de Wilde. The story follows Emma (Anya Taylor-Joy), a young woman, who lives in Georgian and Regency-era England and occupies herself with matchmaking, in sometimes misguided, often meddlesome fashion, in the lives of her friends and family.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'We all know at times what it is to be wearied in spirits. Mine, I confess, are exhausted.' - Jane Fairfax (Emma.) Click To Tweet 'I have been unpardonably vain, and insufferably arrogant. I have been inconsiderate, and indelicate, and irrational, and unfeeling.' - Emma Woodhouse (Emma.) Click To Tweet 'Time will heal the wound.' - Mr. Knightley (Emma.) Click To Tweet
The movie opens by introducing Emma Woodhouse as, “handsome, clever, and rich, who had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
[Emma brings flowers to her governess, Miss Taylor, and knocks on her door]
Emma Woodhouse: How am I to bear it when you are gone?
Miss Taylor: I am going only half a mile, Emma.
Emma Woodhouse: But great is the difference between a Mrs. Weston half a mile away, and a Miss Taylor in the house.
[as they are getting ready to go to Miss Taylor’s wedding]
Mr. Woodhouse: Poor Miss Taylor! It’s a pity Mr. Weston ever thought of her.
Emma Woodhouse: Papa, Mr. Weston is such a good-humored, pleasant, excellent man. He thoroughly deserves a good wife. And you would not have had Miss Taylor live with us forever when she might have had a house of her own.
Mr. Woodhouse: A house of her own. Where is the advantage of a house of her own? This is three times as large. It’s entirely unnecessary.
Mr. Woodhouse: Poor Miss Taylor. Poor Isabella.
Emma Woodhouse: My sister married seven years ago, Papa. You must be reconciled to it by now.
Mr. Woodhouse: That was a terrible day.
[as they are riding in their carriage to Miss Taylor’s wedding]
Emma Woodhouse: It shall always be a matter of great joy to me that I made the match myself. Everyone said Mr. Weston would never marry again, but I did not believe it.
Mr. Woodhouse: Emma, you should not make matches or foretell things. Whatever you say always comes to pass. You must not make any more.
Emma Woodhouse: I promise to make none for myself, Papa. But I must indeed for other people. It is the greatest amusement in the world. And after such success, you know.
[as the wedding ceremony begins]
Mr. Elton: Dearly beloved friends, we gather here in the sight of God to join together this man, and this woman, in holy matrimony. An honorable estate instituted by God in this time of man’s great inno-cence.
Mr. Woodhouse: [to Emma] Inno-cence? Innocence. No?
[Emma and her father are visited by her sister’s brother-in-law, Mr. Knightley]
Mr. Knightley: How do you do? I came to wish you joy.
Mr. Woodhouse: Joy? Oh, the wedding. What a terrible day.
Mr. Knightley: So how did you all behave? Who cried the most?
Emma Woodhouse: We all behaved charmingly. Everybody was in their best looks. Not a tear, and hardly a long face to be seen.
Mr. Knightley: And what of Mr. Frank Churchill? Is he every bit as handsome as his father promised he would be?
[Emma is silent]
Mr. Knightley: He did not come?
[Emma gives Knightley a letter]
Emma Woodhouse: You see, he wished exceedingly to come, but his aunt and uncle could not spare him.
Mr. Knightley: Well, I dare say he might have come if he could.
Emma Woodhouse: I do not know why you should say so.
Mr. Knightley: If Frank Churchill had wanted to attend his father’s wedding, he would have contrived it. He chose not to come.
Emma Woodhouse: You’ve never met Mr. Frank Churchill. We do not know what he is able, or unable to do.
Mr. Knightley: There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do if he chooses, and that is his duty. It is Frank Churchill’s duty to pay this attention to his father.
Emma Woodhouse: He also has a duty to his aunt, who is unwell.
Mr. Knightley: Mrs. Churchill has been unwell for as long as she could say so. Her nephew is not a doctor. If he had told her simply, and resolutely, that he must attend his father’s wedding, there would have been no opposition to his going.
Emma Woodhouse: You are the worst judge in the world, Mr. Knightley, of the difficulties of dependence. You’ve always been your own master. You’ve no idea what it is to have tempers to manage.
Mr. Knightley: Well, I shall remember that next time you quarrel with me.
[as Harriet pays Emma a visit for tea]
Emma Woodhouse: The Martins are of precisely the order of people with whom I feel I can have nothing to do. A degree or two lower might interest me. If they were very poor, I might hope to be useful to them in some way, but a farmer can need none of my help, and is therefore as much above my notice as he is below it.
Harriet Smith: Mr. Robert Martin went three miles one day to bring me walnuts, because he knew how fond I was of them. I believe he’s very clever. He understands everything.
[referring to Frank Churchill]
Emma Woodhouse: There is such symmetry between us. We both lost our mothers when we were very young. And he has his aunt to care for, as I have Papa.
[after they visit Miss Taylor, now Mrs. Weston]
Harriet Smith: I do so wonder, Miss Woodhouse, that you should not be going to be married. So charming as you are.
Emma Woodhouse: I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry. Fortune I do not want. Employment I do not want. Consequence I do not want. I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband’s house as I am of Hartfield.
[while at a dress shop, Emma and Harriet are met by Miss Bates]
Miss Bates: Miss Woodhouse, I bring happy news. We have had a letter, this very morning, from my niece, Jane Fairfax.
Emma Woodhouse: I hope that she is well.
Miss Bates: In normal course, she writes on a Tuesday, but today was… Oh, her health. Oh, Miss Woodhouse, you are so very kind to inquire.
[to Harriet after listening to Miss Bate’s latest new on her niece, Jane]
Emma Woodhouse: Heaven forbid that I should ever bore anybody half as much about all the Knightleys together as Miss Bates does about Jane Fairfax. One is sick of the very name “Jane Fairfax”. Every letter from her is read forty times over. And if she does but knit a pair of garters, one hears of nothing else for a whole month.
[after seeing Robert Martin on their walk home]
Harriet Smith: Only think of our happening to meet him. Well, Miss Woodhouse, is he like what you expected? What do you think of him?
Emma Woodhouse: I had no right to expect much. And indeed, I did not expect much, but I had imagined him, I confess, a degree or two nearer gentility.
Harriet Smith: To be sure, he’s not so genteel as to a real gentleman.
Harriet Smith: Mrs. Martin thinks you the most handsome woman in all of Highbury.
[Emma laughs and Knightley stares at her]
Emma Woodhouse: You must never flatter me in front of Mr. Knightley, Harriet. He thinks me vain enough already.
Mr. Knightley: I do not think you personally vain. Considering how very handsome you are, you seem little occupied with it. Your vanity lies a different way.
Emma Woodhouse: Did I tell you what Mr. Elton said of you the other day?
[Harriet shakes her head]
Emma Woodhouse: He called you “loveliness itself”. It seems to me his manners are rather softer than they used to be, and I rather wonder whether he means to ingratiate himself with you.
[after Emma has invited Mr. Elton and Harriet to tea and is showing them her drawings]
Mr. Elton: These are exquisitely done, Miss Woodhouse. You have a charming talent.
Emma Woodhouse: I dare say there is merit in them, in the least finished perhaps the most. So Mr. Knightley tells me, and he finds fault in everything I do.
Mr. Elton: Mr. Woodhouse, your daughter’s gifts are without compare. Bear witness.
[he points to Emma’s painting of Harriet]
Mr. Knightley: You’ve made her too tall, Emma.
Mr. Elton: Uh, no. No, certainly not too tall. Not in the least too tall.
Mr. Woodhouse: Yes, it is very pretty. When it is finished, you must have it framed.
Mr. Elton: Allow me. Trust me with this commission, Miss Woodhouse, and I will ride to London the moment I am asked. It would be my great honor.
[to Harriet; referring to Mr. Elton]
Emma Woodhouse: I cannot have a moment’s doubt. It is exactly as I planned. He’s in love with you.
Mr. Knightley: I do not know what your opinion may be, Mrs. Weston, of this great intimacy between Emma and Harriet Smith, but I think it a bad thing.
Mrs. Weston: How differently we feel.
Mr. Knightley: Miss Smith knows nothing about herself and looks upon Emma as knowing everything. Her ignorance is hourly flattery.
Mrs. Weston: But educating Harriet will be an inducement for Emma to educate herself. They will read together.
Mr. Knightley: Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve years-old. She never would submit to anything requiring industry and patience.
Mrs. Weston: I cannot allow you to be a judge in this matter, Mr. Knightley. You are so used to live alone, you do not know the value of a companion.
Mr. Knightley: Well, she always declares that she will never marry, which, of course, means just nothing at all. I should like to see Emma in love, and in some doubt of a return. It would do her good.
Harriet Smith: Miss Woodhouse! You will never guess what has happened! Robert Martin has offered me his hand. He writes as if he really loves me very much.
[Emma takes the letter and starts reading it]
Harriet Smith: Is it a good letter? Or too short?
Emma Woodhouse: It is a very good letter. So good I think one of his sisters must have helped him.
Harriet Smith: But what shall I say? Dear Miss Woodhouse, do advise me.
Emma Woodhouse: Oh, no, no, no. The words must be your own.
[referring to Robert Martin’s marriage proposal]
Harriet Smith: You think I ought to refuse him?
Emma Woodhouse: I lay it down as a general rule, Harriet, that if a woman doubts whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him.
Harriet Smith: Perhaps, it is safer. Do you think I had better say no?
Emma Woodhouse: Not for the world would I advise you either way. You must be the best judge of your own happiness.
Harriet Smith: I have now quite determined, and really almost made up my mind, to refuse Mr. Martin.
[Emma looks relieved]
Mr. Knightley: Refused? Then she is a greater simpleton than I ever believed her. Harriet Smith refuse Robert Martin? I hope you are mistaken.
Emma Woodhouse: I saw her answer. Nothing could be clearer.
Mr. Knightley: You saw her answer? You wrote her answer. This is your doing. Emma, you persuaded her to refuse him.
Emma Woodhouse: Well, if I did, I should not feel that I had done wrong. Mr. Martin’s a respectable young man, but I cannot admit him to be Harriet’s equal.
Mr. Knightley: No, indeed, he is her superior in both sense and situation.
Mr. Knightley: Emma, your infatuation about that girl blinds you. What are Harriet Smith’s claims, either of birth, nature, or education, to any connection higher than Robert Martin? She’s the natural daughter of nobody knows whom.
Emma Woodhouse: There can scarcely be a doubt that her father is a gentleman, and a gentleman of fortune!
Mr. Knightley: Probably no settled provision at all, and certainly no respectable relations!
[as they continue their argument over Harriet]
Emma Woodhouse: Her allowance is very liberal. Nothing has been grudged for her improvement.
Mr. Knightley: She is known only as a parlor boarder at a common school. She is pretty, and she is good-tempered, and that is all.
Emma Woodhouse: That is all? These are not trivial recommendations, Mr. Knightley.
Emma Woodhouse: Till men do fall in love with well-informed minds instead of handsome faces, a girl with such loveliness as Harriet has a certainty of being admired and sought after wherever she goes. I am very much mistaken if your sex, in general, would not find these qualities the highest claims a woman could possess.
[Emma turns and starts walking away]
Mr. Knightley: Upon my word, Emma, to hear you abusing the reason you have is almost enough to make me think so, too. Better to be without sense altogether than to misapply it as you do.
[to Emma; referring to Harriet]
Mr. Knightley: Men of sense do not want silly wives. And more prudent men would be afraid of the inconvenience, and disgrace that they might be involved in when the mystery of her parentage came to be revealed. Let her marry Robert Martin, and she is safe, and respectable forever. But if you teach her to expect to marry greatly, nobody within her reach will ever be good enough for her.
Mr. Knightley: Your plans for Harriet are best known only to yourself. But as you make no secret of your love of matchmaking, it is fair to suppose the plans you have. And as a friend, I shall just hint to you that if Elton is the man that I think, it will be your labor in vain. He knows that he is a very handsome young man, and a great favorite wherever he goes. But from his general way of talking, when there are only men present, I’m convinced that he does not mean to throw himself away.
Emma Woodhouse: I’m very much obliged to you for opening my eyes, Mr. Knightley. But know that I am done with matchmaking for the present. I only want to keep Harriet for myself.
Mr. Knightley: [to Emma] Let us be friends.
Emma Woodhouse: As far as good intentions went, we were both in the right. I must admit, I have not yet been proved wrong.
[Knightley gets up to leave]
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Knightley, was Mr. Martin very disappointed?
Mr. Knightley: A man cannot be more so.
[as Emma visits Harriet at her boarding school and finds her lying in bed]
Harriet Smith: Miss Woodhouse!
Emma Woodhouse: You’re so disheveled.
Harriet Smith: I’m always ill at Christmas.
Emma Woodhouse: Get back in bed at once.
[finding Emma reading a letter from Frank Churchill]
Mr. Knightley: Another fine, flourishing letter full of professions and falsehoods?
Emma Woodhouse: Your feelings are singular. His letters seem to satisfy everybody else.
Mr. Knightley: I suspect they do not satisfy Mrs. Weston. Were she a person of consequence herself, he would have come by now, I daresay.
[referring to Frank Churchill]
Emma Woodhouse: You seem determined to think ill of him.
Mr. Knightley: I should be as ready to acknowledge his merits as any other man, but I hear of none, except that he is well grown and good-looking.
Emma Woodhouse: Well, if he has nothing else to recommend him, he shall be a treasure at Highbury. We do not often look upon fine young men. Cannot ask for all the virtues into the bargain.
Mr. Knightley: You will excuse my being so much overpowered.
[referring to Frank Churchill]
Emma Woodhouse: We are both prejudiced. You against, I for him. And we shall have no chance of agreeing until he is really here.
Mr. Knightley: Prejudiced? I’m not prejudiced.
Emma Woodhouse: Yes, but I am! Very much, and without at all being ashamed of it. My love for Mr. and Mrs. Weston gives me a decided prejudice in his favor.
[after the Weston’s dinner is abruptly ended, Emma shares a ride home with Mr. Elton]
Mr. Elton: I must avail myself of this precious opportunity to declare sentiments, which must be already well known. My ardent attachment.
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Elton, please. You’ve drunk too much wine. Mr. Elton! You forget yourself.
Mr. Elton: I am ready to die if you refuse me.
Emma Woodhouse: You take me for my friend. Any message you have to Miss Smith, I shall be happy to deliver.
Mr. Elton: For Miss Smith? A message for Miss Smith? I never thought of Miss Smith in the whole course of my existence. Never paid her any attentions, but as your friend. I never cared whether she were dead or alive, but as your friend.
Mr. Elton: [to Emma] Miss Woodhouse. Who can think of Miss Smith when Miss Woodhouse is near? Everything I have said or done for many weeks has been with the sole view of making my adoration to yourself.
[after Mr. Elton has declared his intentions towards a shocked Emma]
Mr. Elton: Charming Miss Woodhouse, allow me to interpret this interesting silence. It confesses you have long understood me.
Emma Woodhouse: No, sir. It confesses no such thing. Nothing could be farther from my wishes. Your pursuit of Harriet has given me great pleasure, and I’ve been very earnestly wishing your success.
Mr. Elton: Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl, and no doubt there are men who might not object. Everybody has their level.
Mr. Elton: Madam, my visits to Hartfield have been for yourself only. And the encouragement I received…
Emma Woodhouse: Encouragement? I give you encouragement? You are entirely mistaken, sir. I have no thoughts of matrimony at present.
[referring to Mr. Elton]
Harriet Smith: He never loved me. He loves you.
Emma Woodhouse: He sought to aggrandize and enrich himself.
Harriet Smith: Yes.
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet, you might never have thought of him, but for me. I assured you of his attachments. I contrived his visits to Hartfield.
Harriet Smith: I do not blame you, Miss Woodhouse. I could never have deserved him. And none but so partial and kind a friend as you could even have thought it possible. It’s silly, really.
[after her sister, Isabella, and her husband, John Knightley, leave]
Mr. Woodhouse: You must never leave me, Emma.
Emma Woodhouse: Oh, Papa. You know I never could.
Miss Bates: Miss Woodhouse! Miss Smith! Such news! My niece, Jane Fairfax. Miss Woodhouse, Jane Fairfax, she has, Jane has surprised us. She is here! Oh, do come along. We must have tea. It is too thrilling.
[during their dinner party at Hartfield]
Miss Bates: Mother! You must sample the tart!
Miss Bates: Oh, now, Jane, Mr. Frank Churchill is a man much talked about in Highbury. Is he not, Miss Woodhouse? We are all very eager to meet him. He was at Weymouth when Jane was there.
Jane Fairfax: We are very little acquainted.
Emma Woodhouse: Frank Churchill was at Weymouth? In October?
Harriet Smith: That was the month of his father’s wedding.
[referring to Frank]
Emma Woodhouse: But you must describe him. Is he handsome? Is he agreeable?
Jane Fairfax: I believe he is generally thought so.
[as Jane is playing the piano]
Mr. Knightley: I’m glad you invited Miss Fairfax to play. Having no instrument at her grandmother’s, it must be a real indulgence.
Emma Woodhouse: I am glad you approve. But I hope I am not often deficient in what is due to my guests at Hartfield.
Mr. Knightley: No, you are not often deficient.
Mr. Knightley: You make it very plain you do not like Miss Fairfax.
Emma Woodhouse: Everybody supposes we must be so fond of each other because we are the same age. Ever since I can remember, I have been told I can find no better companion than Jane Fairfax. She who is so accomplished and so superior.
Mr. Knightley: She is certainly accomplished. Perhaps the accomplished young woman you wish to be thought yourself.
[to Harriet; referring to Jane]
Emma Woodhouse: Three months of doing more than I wish, and less than I ought. That indifferent, imperturbable statue.
[to Harriet after they encounter Robert and his sisters, where it’s clear they still have feelings for each other]
Emma Woodhouse: You behaved extremely well. And it is over. As a first meeting, it cannot occur again. You must stay no longer than a quarter of an hour. And allow no dangerous reminiscences. There must be no recurrence to the past.
[after Emma finally meets Frank Churchill]
Frank Churchhill: And I beg your pardon, Miss Woodhouse, you were speaking to me.
Emma Woodhouse: I merely asked whether you had known much of Miss Fairfax and her party at Weymouth.
Frank Churchhill: And now that I understand the question, I must pronounce it to be a very unfair one. Well, it is always the lady’s right to decide on the degree of acquaintance.
Emma Woodhouse: You answer as discreetly as she would herself. Though her account leaves so much to be guessed, that I really think you may say what you like of your acquaintance with her.
Frank Churchhill: I only know what is generally known. That she is poor and of no consequence.
[to Emma; after his suggestion of holding a ball at one of the inns in Highbury]
Frank Churchhill: Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successfully without any ball of any description, and no injury either to body or to mind, but when the felicities of rapid motion have been felt, it must be a very heavy heart that does not ask for more.
[as they are about to enter Mr. Cole’s house]
Mr. Knightley: So, Emma Woodhouse deigned to accept an invitation from the merchant Mr. Cole.
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Churchill will soon return to Yorkshire. We must make the most of every opportunity until he does.
Mr. Knightley: We must.
Emma Woodhouse: He’s in Highbury only two weeks.
Mr. Knightley: And yet he spent a whole day going to London just to get his hair cut. Sixteen miles, twice over. He’s a trifling silly fop.
[during the Cole’s party after Jane and Frank discreetly smile at each other]
Emma Woodhouse: Why do you smile?
Frank Churchhill: Nay, why do you?
Emma Woodhouse: I suppose I smile for pleasure.
[referring to Jane receiving a pianoforte from a mystery admirer]
Emma Woodhouse: A pianoforte is a very handsome present. I rather wonder it was never made before.
Frank Churchhill: Perhaps Miss Fairfax has never been staying here so long before.
Emma Woodhouse: Or that Colonel Campbell did not give her use of his own instrument, which must now be shut up in London untouched by anybody.
[to Emma; referring to Jane]
Frank Churchhill: She has done her hair in so odd a way. I never saw anything like it. Must be a fancy of her own. I see nobody else looking like her.
Mrs. Weston: What do you say to this, Emma? I have made a match between Mr. Knightley and Jane Fairfax.
Emma Woodhouse: [taken aback] Mr. Knightley and Jane Fairfax?
Mrs. Weston: This pianoforte’s been sent to her by somebody. And she has always been a favorite with him. Tonight, he sent his carriage for her as a courtesy, and walked himself. Was that not gallant?
[referring to Mr. Elton after one of his sermons]
Harriet Smith: He’s married.
Emma Woodhouse: It cannot be a long acquaintance. He’s only been gone six weeks.
[as the Eltons are having tea at Hartfield]
Mrs. Elton: What pleasant people the Westons seem to be. And who should call in while we were there? Knightley. Knightley himself. Of course, as so particular a friend of Mr. E’s, I had a great curiosity to meet him. “My friend Knightley” had been so often mentioned that I really was impatient to see him. And I must do my cara sposo the justice to say, that he need not be at all ashamed of his friend.
[after their tea with the Eltons]
Emma Woodhouse: “Knightley.” I could not have believed it. “Knightley.” Never met him before in her life, and calls him “Knightley.” And to discover that he is a gentleman. Upstart, vulgar being, with her “Mr. E” and her “cara sposo”.
[to Frank during the ball thrown by the Westons]
Miss Bates: How do you like Jane’s hair? She did it all herself. Too wonderful. No hairdresser from London, I think, could do a finer style.
[during the ball]
Mrs. Weston: There is a young lady disengaged, whom I should be very glad to see dancing. Miss Smith.
Mr. Elton: Miss Smith. If I were not an old married man. But my dancing days are over. Mrs. Weston, you will excuse me.
[after Mr. Elton snubs Harriet for a dance, reducing her to tears. Knightley walks towards her]
Mr. Knightley: Will you dance, Miss Smith?
Emma Woodhouse: Thank you, for your kindness to Harriet.
Mr. Knightley: He was unpardonably rude. And he aimed at wounding more than Harriet.
Emma Woodhouse: I was completely mistaken in Mr. Elton. There is a littleness about him which you discovered and I did not.
Mr. Knightley: You would have chosen for him better than he has chosen for himself. Harriet Smith has some first-rate qualities, which Mrs. Elton is totally without. She does you credit, Emma, as you do her.
[at the ball]
Mr. Knightley: With whom will you dance?
Emma Woodhouse: With you. If you will ask me. You have shown that you can dance, and we are not really so much brother and sister as to make it improper.
Mr. Knightley: No, indeed.
[after Frank rescues Harriet from being set upon by gypsies]
Harriet Smith: Miss Woodhouse, I believe I am in love again.
[thinking that Harriet is in love with Frank]
Emma Woodhouse: He’s your superior, no doubt, but wonderful things have taken place. There have been matches of greater disparity.
Harriet Smith: Believe me, I have not the presumption to suppose.
Emma Woodhouse: No, but the service he rendered you.
Harriet Smith: Service? The very recollection of it, and all that I felt. His coming to me, his noble look. Such a change in one moment from misery to perfect happiness.
Emma Woodhouse: I was very wrong before. I will be cautious now. I am determined against any interference.
[after Mrs. Elton has asked Knightley to invite guests to his estate for exploring]
Mrs. Elton: Oh, leave that to me. It is my party. I will invite your guests.
Mr. Knightley: I hope you will bring Elton, but I will not trouble you to give any other invitations.
Mrs. Elton: Oh. Oh, well, now you are looking very sly. But consider, you need not be afraid of delegating power to me. Married women, you know, may be safely authorized.
Mr. Knightley: There is but one married woman in all the world whom I can ever allow to invite what guests she pleases to Donwell.
Mrs. Elton: Mrs. Weston, I suppose?
Mr. Knightley: No. Mrs. Knightley. Until she is in being, I will manage such matters myself.
[after Knightley has invited guests to explore his estate]
Jane Fairfax: Will you be so kind when I am missed to say that I am gone home?
Emma Woodhouse: If you wish it. But you’re not going to walk back to Highbury alone. Are you unwell?
Jane Fairfax: Miss Woodhouse, we all know at times what it is to be wearied in spirits. Mine, I confess, are exhausted.
[after Frank arrives at Knightley’s estate for the guest party]
Frank Churchhill: As soon as my aunt gets well again, I shall go abroad. I’m tired of doing nothing. I want a change. I’m serious, Miss Woodhouse, whatever your penetrating eyes may fancy. I’m sick of England!
Emma Woodhouse: You are sick of prosperity and indulgence. Cannot you invent a few hardships for yourself and be contented to stay?
Frank Churchhill: You are quite mistaken. I do not look upon myself as either prosperous or indulged.
[during a picnic]
Frank Churchhill: Ladies and gentlemen, I am ordered by Miss Woodhouse to say that she waives her right of knowing what you may be thinking of, and only requires something entertaining from each of you. She demands either one thing very clever, or two things moderately clever, or three things very dull indeed. And she engages to laugh heartily at them all.
Miss Bates: Oh. Very well, then. I need not be uneasy. “Three things very dull indeed.” That will do just for me. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as I open my mouth.
Emma Woodhouse: Ah, ma’am, but there is the difficulty. When have you ever stopped at three?
[everyone falls silent]
Miss Bates: [visibly upset] Oh. No. I see what she means. I shall try to hold my tongue.
[after Emma has insulted her in front of the whole party]
Miss Bates: Mr. Knightley, I must have made myself very disagreeable, or she would not have said such a thing to an old friend. I cannot think what I have done.
[after everyone is leaving the picnic party]
Mr. Knightley: How could you be so unfeeling to Miss Bates?
Emma Woodhouse: It was not so very bad.
Mr. Knightley: How could you be so insolent to a woman of her character, and age, and situation?
Emma Woodhouse: I dare say she did not understand me.
Mr. Knightley: I assure you she did. She felt your full meaning. She has talked of it since.
[referring to Miss Bates]
Emma Woodhouse: I know there is not a better creature in the world.
Mr. Knightley: I wish you could have heard how she talked of it with what candor and generosity.
Emma Woodhouse: You must allow that what is good and what is ridiculous are most unfortunately blended in her!
Mr. Knightley: They are blended in her, I acknowledge. And were she a woman of fortune, I would not quarrel with you for any liberties of manner, but she is poor! She has sunk from the comfort she was born to, and if she lived to an old age, she will probably sink more.
[referring to Miss Bates]
Mr. Knightley: She has seen you grow up from when her notice of you was an honor.
Emma Woodhouse: It is too hot. And I am tired!
Mr. Knightley: To have you now, in thoughtless spirits, and the pride of the moment, laugh at her, and humble her, and before her niece, and before others, many of whom are entirely guided by your treatment of her! It was badly done, indeed!
[Emma begins to cry as Knightley walks off in anger]
[crying to Mr. Woodhouse]
Emma Woodhouse: I have been unpardonably vain, and insufferably arrogant. I have been inconsiderate, and indelicate, and irrational, and unfeeling.
[after Emma pays Miss Bates a visit to apologize and gives her a basket of food]
Miss Bates: So very kind. But you are always kind, Miss Woodhouse.
[after Frank’s wealthy aunt dies]
Mrs. Weston: Frank and Jane Fairfax are engaged.
Emma Woodhouse: What?
Mrs. Weston: There’s been a solemn engagement between them ever since October. Formed at Weymouth and kept a secret from everybody.
Emma Woodhouse: What? Engaged? Before either of them came to Highbury?
Mrs. Weston: Secretly engaged. Of course, had his aunt heard of it, she would have cut him off. It has hurt me, Emma, very much. It has hurt his father equally.
Emma Woodhouse: He sent the pianoforte.
Mr. Weston: He has confessed it.
[referring to Frank and Jane’s engagement]
Emma Woodhouse: I’m so very sorry, Harriet.
Harriet Smith: But why should you condole me? You do not think I care about Mr. Frank Churchill?
Emma Woodhouse: There was a time, and not very distant either, when you gave me reason to believe that you did care about him.
Harriet Smith: Him? Never. Dear Miss Woodhouse, how could you so mistake me?
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet, what do you mean?
Harriet Smith: I should not have thought it possible that you could have misunderstood me. But you told me that greater things had happened. That there had been matches of greater disparity. Those were your very words, Miss Woodhouse.
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet, let us understand each other now, without possibility of further mistake. Are you speaking of Mr. Knightley?
Harriet Smith: Of course. I thought you knew.
Emma Woodhouse: And have you any idea of Mr. Knightley’s returning your affection?
Harriet Smith: I must say that I have. He has shown me sweetness, and kindness. And at Donwell, he took great pains to describe to me some particulars of the management of his tenant farms. We were interrupted, but before we were, he seemed almost to be asking me if my affections were engaged.
Emma Woodhouse: Yes, but is it possible that he might have been alluding to Mr. Martin? That he might have had Mr. Martin’s interest in view?
Harriet Smith: You think of Mr. Knightley for yourself.
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet. I do not flatter myself with any idea of his attachment to me.
[Harriet looks visibly upset]
[referring to Mr. Knightley]
Harriet Smith: [crying] I should have considered it too great a presumption even to think of him but for you.
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet, I know that he is the last man who would intentionally give any woman the idea of his feeling more for her than he does. So if you believe he loves you…
Harriet Smith: I refused Mr. Martin because of you. Because…
[in tears, Harriet leaves]
[after Knightley finds Emma, who has been crying by herself]
Emma Woodhouse: Have you heard the news?
Mr. Knightley: Miss Fairfax and Frank Churchill.
Emma Woodhouse: I did not see it. But then I seem to have been doomed to blindness.
Mr. Knightley: Time, my dearest Emma, time will heal the wound. He will soon be gone. You will forget him.
Emma Woodhouse: You are very kind, but you are mistaken. My blindness to what was going on led me to act in a way that I must always be ashamed of, but I have no other regret.
[referring to Frank]
Mr. Knightley: He is a disgrace to the name of man. And is he to be rewarded with that sweet young woman. Jane, Jane, you’ll be a miserable creature. Everything turns out for his good. His aunt is in the way, his aunt dies. He uses everybody ill, and they’re delighted to forgive him. He is a fortunate man, indeed.
Emma Woodhouse: You speak as if you envied him.
Mr. Knightley: And I do envy him.
[referring to Frank]
Mr. Knightley: Emma, in one respect, he is the object of my envy.
[Emma silently looks away]
Mr. Knightley: You will not ask me why. You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity. You are wise. But I cannot be wise. I must tell you, Emma, what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment.
Emma Woodhouse: Then do not speak it.
[Knightley walks off]
Emma Woodhouse: If you wish to speak to me, as a friend, or to ask my opinion, as a friend, I will hear whatever you like.
Mr. Knightley: “As a friend.” Emma, that, I fear, is a word… Tell me, Emma, have I no chance of ever succeeding? My dearest Emma, for dearest you will always be. My dearest, most beloved Emma, tell me at once. I cannot make speeches. If I loved you less, then I might be able to talk about it more, but you know what I am. I have lectured you, and I’ve blamed you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England could have borne it. God knows I have been a very indifferent lover. But you understand me. You understand my feelings.
[he touches her tearful face]
Mr. Knightley: Will you marry me?
[Emma then develops a nosebleed]
[as her nose continues to bleed; referring to Knightley proposal]
Emma Woodhouse: I cannot!
Mr. Knightley: Why not?
Emma Woodhouse: Harriet!
Mr. Knightley: Harriet?
Emma Woodhouse: [sobbing] She’s in love with you! And she believes that you may love her too. And you danced with her!
Mr. Knightley: Oh.
Emma Woodhouse: And shown her kindness, and took notice of her at Donwell, and spoke of farming. And seemed on the verge of asking if her affections were engaged!
Mr. Knightley: To Robert Martin! To Robert Martin! She told you this?
Emma Woodhouse: I cannot break her heart again!
Mr. Knightley: I shall call on Robert Martin this very evening. I shall urge him to put his suit to Miss Smith a second time. He still loves her. I’m certain that he does. He need only ask again. Not by letter, but in person.
Emma Woodhouse: No. No, I must do it. I must go.
[as Emma pays a visit to Robert Martin to make amends]
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Martin, I have a confession to make. I have caused you great suffering. As I have also caused the suffering of my friend. My dearest friend.
[she leaves him her painting of Harriet]
Harriet Smith: Mr. Robert Martin has offered me his hand. I have accepted.
Emma Woodhouse: Then he is the most fortunate man of my acquaintance. Harriet, I…
Harriet Smith: There is something else. I have had a letter from my father. Now that I have come of age, he has revealed himself. He is a tradesman, in Bristol. He makes galoshes. He comes to Highbury next week on purpose to meet with me.
Emma Woodhouse: Then I hope you will bring him to Hartfield.
[Harriet smiles and they both embrace each other]
[referring to Mr. Woodhouse, who has given them a moment of privacy]
Emma Woodhouse: How could I ever leave him?
Mr. Knightley: He can remove with you to Donwell.
Emma Woodhouse: You know he never would. He could not stand it.
Mr. Knightley: Then I shall come here.
Emma Woodhouse: You would quit the abbey?
Mr. Knightley: Yes.
Emma Woodhouse: Sacrifice your independence?
Mr. Knightley: Yes.
Emma Woodhouse: And live constantly with my father in no house of your own?
Mr. Knightley: Yes.
[after which they kiss; we then see them getting married in front of their friends and family]
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