I Saw ‘Mothering Sunday’: Here’s What I Saw

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Mothering Sunday (CREDIT: Sony Pictures Classics/Screenshot)

Starring: Odessa Young, Josh O’Connor, Colin Firth, Olivia Colman, Sope Dirisu, Patsy Ferran, Glenda Jackson

Director: Eva Husson

Running Time: 110 Minutes

Rating: R

Release Date: March 25, 2022 (Theaters)

For a good stretch of Mothering Sunday, Odessa Young walks around a big English country estate while totally naked. She’s by herself, just exploring the place, luxuriating in her own body. There’s a few moments when it cuts to some other characters and you think she’s about to be discovered, but that’s just misleading editing, because they’re in some other time and/or place. Anyway, it’s the most long-lasting incidental nudity I can ever remember seeing in a movie, and it had me thinking, “Well, I guess she’s comfortable.” Anyway, her character starts out as a maid and eventually becomes a highly acclaimed writer. Not a bad way for a life to turn out. Elsewhere, Colin Firth and Olivia Colman play characters who get very emotional.

Grade: 3 Typewriters out of No Clothes

Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 4/23/21

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Rutherford Falls (CREDIT: Peacock/YouTube Screenshot)

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

Movies
Mortal Kombat (2021) (Theaters and Streaming on HBO Max)
Together Together (April 23 in Theaters, May 11 On Demand) – Ed Helms, Patti Harrison, and surrogacy, oh my!

TV
Rutherford Falls Season 1 (Premiered April 22 on Peacock) – Mike Schur, Ed Helms, and a town bordering a Native American reservation walk into a sitcom.
Romeo and Juliet (April 23 on PBS) – A new production from London’s National Theater starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O’Connor
A Black Lady Sketch Show Season 2 Premiere (April 23 on HBO)
-93rd Academy Awards (April 25 on ABC) – Handin’ out those Oscars.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 Premiere (April 28 on Hulu)

Music
-Eric Church, Heart & Soul – A three-part album released over the course of a week!
-Dinosaur Jr., Sweep It Into Space

‘Emma.’ is Stylish, Bighearted, and Eager to Get Love Right

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CREDIT: Box Hill Films/Focus Features

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, Connor Swindells

Director: Autumn de Wilde

Running Time: 124 Minutes

Rating: PG for A Butt

Release Date: February 21, 2020 (Limited)/Expands March 6, 2020

In the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s meddling matchmaker, there are two moments that happen back to back in a pair of private quarters which really represent the power of this version. First we see Emma Woodhouse’s longtime companion and confidant George Knightley (Johnny Flynn) being dressed by his servant. The sequence begins with him stripped down to his birthday suit, giving us a quick peek at his bare behind. Once he is all set to o, it cuts to Ms. Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy) receiving the final touches from her help, and while we do not get a full au naturel view of her, she does take a moment to hike up her dress and pose while placing her hands at her side. Taken together, it is marvelously striking how rarely we get to see bare legs like these in a literary English period piece, especially in one that is so otherwise bright and bold in its costume decisions, what with its feathers in caps and a mustard-yellow trench coat.

It makes sense that we get such a peek into private spaces, considering how much first-time director Autumn de Wilde has chosen to emphasize the vulnerability at the core of this story. It is no big surprise to see Flynn as Knightley cut to the emotional core of any conflict, but you might be taken aback by just how much we get to see his beloved open up as well. Emma presents herself as a know-it-all, but when she realizes that she may have screwed up, her worry about catastrophe is devastating (so much so that her nose starts bleeding at one point). Taylor-Joy and her big, expressive eyes are quite the casting coup here. There’s no way for her to fully hide what she’s feeling. When she discovers how badly she insults Miss Bates (Miranda Hart), and how wrong she’s steered her friend Harriet (Mia Goth), and how much she’s offended Knightley, the tears come flowing as she confronts the fear that she may have made herself the biggest pariah around.

One of the biggest themes of any version of Emma is the power in allowing people to fix their mistakes. In this Emma., when those re-dos occur, the characters have big smiles on their faces, and I bet you will, too. It’s a lovely adaptation, and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s a story I was already intimately familiar with, and yet it has somehow awoken previously undiscovered sections of my heart and subconscious.

Emma. is Recommended If You Like: Wit mixed with tears

Grade: 4 out of 5 Love Matches