I went to see the new adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma with some trepidation, as I was very disappointed by the recent TV series 'Sanditon' (and I know that many other Austen fans were, too).
Well fear not, ladies (and gentlemen), you can visit your local cinema and watch Emma, safe in the knowledge that the movie is true to the spirit of Austen's novel.
This is not to say that it gives a completely faithful recreation of the novel - it doesn't - but I hope to whet your appetite without too many spoilers.
As you would expect, the movie opens with the marriage of Emma's governess Miss Taylor, and Emma's 'gentle sorrow' at losing her friend.
Then we have Mr Knightley's first appearance! I was initially worried by Mr Knightley's 'artistically necessary' scene - I thought, please no, not another Sanditon - but once our leading man dons his breeches, the movie soon hits its stride.
Johnny Flynn gives Mr Knightley a less stately air than in the novel - more the Romantic hero - but none the worse for that! He still acts as Emma's moral guide as she arrogantly rearranges everyone's love-lives.
Emma Woodhouse is played by Anya Taylor-Joy, who does a good job of conveying Emma's snobbiness and the high-handedness of her dealings with Harriet Smith. Bill Nighy plays a surprisingly sprightly Mr Woodhouse, but there are some good gags re his fussiness which I won't spoil for you.
Before seeing the movie, I'd had qualms when I heard that Miranda Hart was playing Miss Bates. (I feared a reprise of Alison Steadman's immensely irritating Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice). But her performance is very nicely judged, and we feel her genuine shock when Emma is rude to her at Box Hill.
Mr and Mrs Elton are cringe-worthy, as they should be - Mr Elton does seem to be channeling Mr Collins at times.
The 'detective story' bits of Emma are rather underplayed. Frank Churchill is primarily the focus of Mr Knightley's jealousy, of course, but I felt we do not see enough of Jane Fairfax.
There are some nicely stroppy female characters. Isabella Knightley is quite pushy, and by the end of the movie, Harriet Smith upbraids Emma very spiritedly for pushing her into refusing Robert Martin.
John Knightley does not feature quite as much as I would have liked, but perhaps this was to keep the main focus on George Knightley and Emma.
The costumes are gorgeous - and as far as I can tell very accurate - for the ladies' and men's fashions and hairstyles. Emma's frocks and bonnets in particular look as if they were copied straight from a fashion print from any of the contemporary magazines.
The sets and locations are beautifully shot and presented. A couple of caveats - why was the Bates' supposedly humble home hung with Flemish-style tapestries? And - perhaps because of the cinema's sound system? - sometimes the 'background' farmyard noises were so loud, one wonders if Regency sheep carried megaphones!
The movie has lots of very funny comic visual touches - although in my view one was rather out of place during Knightley's proposal to Emma (!) - but overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anyway, do go and see it, and judge for yourself. I feel this is the best Austen adaptation I've seen for some time.