Monday, April 15, 2013
Happy Birthday to Emma Thompson!
Today is Emma Thompson's 54th birthday!
Emma Thompson has been one of my favourite actresses for quite some time, ever since I first saw her as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995). Since then, I have had the pleasure of seeing her in numerous other period dramas and she is quite delightful! (Coincidentally, she is also my namesake! Well, sort of.)
Emma Thompson was born in London, England, on April 15th, 1959, into a family of actors- her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actress as well). Thompson's wit was earlier cultivated by a cheerful, clever, creative family atmosphere, and she was a popular and successful student. She attended Cambridge University, studying English literature, and was part of the university's Footlights group.
Thompson has continued to move effortlessly between the art film world and mainstream Hollywood, though even her Hollywood roles tend to be more up-market productions. She continues to work on television as well, but is generally very selective about which roles she takes. She writes for the screen as well, such as the screenplay for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995) in which she also starred as Elinor Dashwood. Thompson is known for her sophisticated, skillful performances, and her arch wit. (Mini biography taken- let's say borrowed- from IMDB.com)
Sense and Sensibility (1995) as Elinor Dashwood
This is one of my very favourite movies and also the first movie I saw Emma Thompson act in. She will always be the face of Elinor for me, and I truly loved this performance. Also, even though I haven't read the novel, I'd say that she did an excellent job writing the screenplay! (Also, I loved her Golden Globe speech after she received the award for best screenplay- it's on the special features of our copy, which I think is a special edition, and the speech, which is mostly about Jane Austen, is very clever and witty.)
Howard's End (1992) as Margaret Schlegel
This *cough* is not by any means the best movie I've ever seen; in fact, I don't really care for it a great deal. It's extremely sad and somewhat difficult to watch, and this is not one of the best roles I've seen Emma Thompson in, but still she was quite lovely. And I loved her early 19th century hairstyles! The scenery in Howard's End is very pretty and the film has some good lines, especially the when Margaret and her sister Helen are talking back and forth to one another. Emma Thompson's performance was good, and there a number of other very acclaimed actors in it, but I'm not sure I'd very highly recommend the movie.
The Remains of the Day (1993) as Miss Kenton
Another sad movie! My mother really likes this movie, and I wanted to see Emma Thompson so those are the main reasons why I saw it. It is a very well done movie (it was nominated for eight academy awards, I think)....but again, not my favourite. This movie too had very pretty post-WW1 costumes, and I loved Emma Thompson's hairstyles! The cast was also very impressive- Matthews from Hornblower even had a small role!- and the scenery and music were very pretty. The ending was- sob- REALLY sad, because *spoiler* even though Miss Kenton and Mr. Stevens loved each other, they never got together and ended up somewhat miserable *end of spoiler*. Actually, to tell you the truth, I didn't exactly watch the entire thing- I was younger then and got kind of bored- but I got the impression that things didn't turn out too great. So it is a very well-done movie, and I liked Emma Thompson's and Anthony Hopkins' characters, but keep in mind that it is very sad!
Much Ado About Nothing (1993) as Beatrice
My family actually watched this movie for the first time just this year. We had seen the trailer over and over again on Sense and Sensibility- actually, I suppose Sadie and I were the only ones who watched it over and over) and I was not disappointed at all! I'm not a huge fan of Shakespeare- I tried watching As You Like It once and couldn't make head nor tails of it- but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and most everything about it. And the music is by Patrick Doyle, so what's not to like? Beatrice was a very charming and witty character, and I think this is one of my favourite of Emma Thompson's performances.
Facts About Emma Thompson
-She is married to actor Greg Wise, and they have one daughter named Gaia Romilly Wise.
-She speaks French and Spanish fluently.
-She is good friends with actress Meryl Streep
-She met her husband-to-be Greg Wise on the set of Sense and Sensibilty in 1995, and they were married in 2003
-Her performance as Miss Kenton in The Remains of the Day is ranked #52 on Premier Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time
"I am who I am and there is nothing I can do about that."
"I've realized that in all the great stories, even if there's a happily-ever-after ending, there's something sad."
Have you seen Emma Thompson in many films? Which of her roles is your favourite?
Very Truly Yours,