Emma Thompson's Filmography

Emma Thompson’s performances never go unnoticed. She displays an economy of gestures and just the right show of emotions that say so much sometimes saying nothing at all. I believe she is the female equivalent of Anthony Hopkins. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (♦♦♦♦) and Love Actually (♦♦♦♦♦) are not Emma Thompson’s movies in the absolute sense, but her contribution to both films is duly noticed. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (♦♦♦♦), Thompson stars as the professor of Divination Art, who reads a bad omen, namely the Grim, in Harry Potter’s cup. Potter meets this professor after class, and she gets hold of a spirit and foresees things that will happen in a short time. Love Actually (♦♦♦♦♦), with an all-star cast led by Hugh Grant, is a series of vignettes that portray how all the characters in the movie have fallen in love or show love in any way. I adore this film! It’s hysterical and romantic at the same time…And what better occasion to show all that love than on Christmastime?

Primary Colors (♦♦♦♦) is a funny look at a very serious topic in politics: how charismatic politicians get away with things that cost dearly to their opponents. The movie is said to be loosely based on Bill Clinton’s presidential candidacy. John Travolta is brilliant and so is Thompson as his mess-covering wife. Not to be missed! Funny and distressing at the same time! In Wit (♦♦♦), a movie made for television, Thompson stars as Vivian Bearing, an esteemed college professor of literature who gets diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. With her refined wit, Bearing deals with the medical personnel and the decisions that involved her treatment. Despite Thompson’s brilliant acting, I couldn’t help but feel how inappropriate it was to treat such a devastating topic in a humorous light. In Dead Again (♦♦♦♦), Thompson stars opposite Kenneth Branagh, her husband back then, as a woman with amnesia connected--by a 40 year old murder--to the private investigator helping her. I did enjoy this movie a great deal. The story is unconventional but very well acted.

The Remains of the Day (♦♦♦♦) is one of Thompson’s most accomplished performances, but I already discussed it in Hopkins’ filmography. In Howards End (♦♦♦), she delivers another great performance, but I didn’t like this film as much. If in The Remains of the Day I ended up lamenting that Thompson and Hopkins’ characters did not end up together, in Howards End I felt they were mismatched. Another astounding execution by Thompson was in Brideshead Revisited (♦♦♦♦♦) as Lady Marchmain, matriarch of Brideshead Castle, who makes the lives of her children Sebastian and Julia positively miserable thanks to her strict adherence to Catholicism. Matthew Goode (Leap Year), Ben Whishaw (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Hayley Atwell (The Pillars of the Earth), and Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) co-star.