New film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels come around every couple of years or so. Her stories are filled with such wit and romance that costume designers, production designers, and actors alike can't resist bringing their flourishes back to the big screen. 2020's adaptation du jour is
Emma, which opens Feb. 21 and stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular matchmaker. Few Austen adaptations, however, have been directed by women, so it's a refreshing feat that the latest offering comes from photographer Autumn de Wilde, who is making her feature directorial debut.
Austen movies have an addicting quality, which is why after seeing
Emma, you might go searching for more. And you'll have plenty to choose from. Some of which don't even take place during Austen's Georgian time period, or in England at all. Just take or Clueless, Bride & Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, all of which are playful adaptations of these classic stories . But in this case, we're sticking to the originals.
Bustle has curated the definitive list of the best Austen films to watch after Emma, that, for the most part, adhere to the time period in which the books are set and lack any fantastical added elements. So if you need some more Austen movies in your life, check out these
Austen movie adaptations streaming now. 1 'Emma' (1996)
Gwyneth Paltrow stars in this very '90s comedy about the meddling Emma with a number of now-famous faces in supporting roles. You'll catch Toni Collette, Alan Cumming, Ewan MacGregor, and the guy who played Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo) on
Game of Thrones all involved in Emma's matchmaking shenanigans. Available on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. 2 'Pride & Prejudice' (2005)
The 2005 version of
Pride & Prejudice stars Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew MacFayden as her Mr. Darcy. Knightley makes for a spunky Lizzie but it's MacFayden's natural glumness that actually makes him quite the perfect Darcy. Streaming on Hulu and Starz. Available to rent on iTunes and Vudu. 3 'Sense & Sensibility' (1995)
Emma Thompson won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing 1995's
Sense & Sensibility. Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and a young Kate Winslet co-star in this comedy of manners about, you guessed it, women falling in love with the wrong and right suitors. Streaming on Crackle. Available on Amazon and Vudu. 4 'Love & Friendship' (2016)
This smart and saucy film is based on one of Austen's early stories, which wasn't actually published until after her death. Kate Beckinsale stars as Lady Susan, a quick-witted and expertly crafty noble woman who's on the hunt for a husband for herself and one for her daughter.
Streaming on Amazon Prime and available to rent on iTunes. 5 'Mansfield Park' (1999)
"Marriage is indeed a maneuvering business," says Fanny Price (Francis O'Connor) in
Mansfield Park. Patricia Rozema directs this adaptation of Austen's third novel, which tells the tale of a poor girl sent to live with her wealthy family who ends up turning the whole system upside down. Streaming on Netflix. Available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu. 6 'Northanger Abbey' (2007)
Felicity Jones stars in this Masterpiece Theater version of one of two of Austen's novels published posthumously (the other being
Persuasion). Northanger Abbey is Austen's "gothic parody," satirizing the era's gothic romances, which gives this film adaptation a spooky twinge. Streaming on Amazon via the PBS add on. Available to rent on iTunes. 7 'Pride & Prejudice' (1995)
If a two hour movie version just isn't enough for you, check out this six-part BBC miniseries from 1995. Colin Firth plays Mr. Darcy up against Jennifer Ehle's Lizzie Bennett.
Streaming on Hulu. Available to rent on Amazon, Vudu, and iTunes. 8 'Jane Austen's Emma' (1996)
Gwyneth Paltrow's wasn't the only
Emma released in 1996. Kate Beckinsale also took a turn for British TV from the same producers that made the highly successful Pride & Prejudice. If the Paltrow version is a bit too bubbly and modern for your sensibilities, you might find this one a bit more true to Austen's writing. Available to rent on Amazon and iTunes. 9 'Pride & Prejudice' (1940)
Then again, if all of these are just a bit too modern for you, go back to the 1940s, when the Golden Age of Hollywood glammed up its own version of
P&P. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier star as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, with the time period bumped up a bit so that they could use the larger, more elaborate dresses of the early Victorian years. Available to rent on Amazon. 10 'Persuasion' (1995) Persuasion was the second of Austen's novels that was published after her death. Unlike her other stories, and their film adaptations, which follow younger people finding love, Persuasion focuses on "older" characters who wish they had married younger. Ciaran Hinds plays a dapper sailor and British actor Amanda Root making her film debut. Available to rent on Amazon.
Austen only wrote a handful of books, but they've been turned into a whole lot of movies. These should hold you over until the next movie adaptation comes around.
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