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About Jane and Emma
Sister Jane Manning, a free black woman, and convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated.
Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the Prophet, as a whirlwind of memory, loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward.
Through the long night, Jane wonders if the Prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him.
Join these two remarkable women of faith on an imagined night that reveals the essence of their complex, raw, and ultimately beautiful friendship.
Several years ago, I read a series of books about Jane Manning James that really made me curious about her and her life. I’ll leave links to them after my review, so you can check them out. But since then, I’ve read other things about her and been curious about her. This movie has been on my to watch list, since I learned that it was coming out.
I got to go to the Salt Lake premier of this movie the other night. This movie enthralled me from the very opening scene. It opens with Jane having a dream. This dream leads her back to Nauvoo and Emma’s home. There she finds that the Prophet Joseph Smith has been murdered and Emma is there all alone with his body.
The night the two of them spend together with Joseph’s body is heart wrenching. Obviously, Emma’s just lost her husband. But she also feels so insanely guilty about his death. As though it was her fault for calling him back when he was going to leave.
I loved the actors that portrayed the characters in this one. Emma played by Emily Goss seemed believable. At first, I thought that she seemed a bit harsh, but she had just lost her husband. And Emma really went through a lot of things that most women will never have to because of who her husband was. Emma to me is one of those women that I will always look up to. She holds a special place in my heart.
Jane played by Danielle Deadwyler was probably my favorite character in this movie. I loved the way she kept trying, even when things were hard. Being kicked off the steamship without any clothes, would have made me rethink my journey to Nauvoo. Walking hundreds of miles from Buffalo to Nauvoo is not something I would even attempt. This woman was strong, she was courageous and she’s one of my all time favorite women ever!
I got to talk to Danielle Deadwyler for just a few minutes after. I asked her what her favorite part of the movie had been. I’ve been thinking about what she told me ever since. And I think what she said can have an application in our lives. She said her favorite parts were all on one day. They shot the hardest, most gut wrenching scenes the same day. And that for her, knowing she could get through that day showed her that she could do hard things. We all have days that are hard, and just like Danielle, we can focus on being able to do the hard things. To get through them and to thrive. I love that!
Anyway…Jane and Emma is a fantastic movie. It’s one that I can’t wait to watch again. If you live in Utah where this movie is opening this weekend, go see it! If not, make sure you go to janeandemmamovie.com to find out how you can request that this movie play in your state.
Jane and Emma Movie Trailer
Books about Jane Manning James that I mentioned earlier