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Jane Austen News – Issue 166

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


  The Best of Dame Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson with Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day

In issue 163 of the Jane Austen News we looked at a list of the top Dame Judi Dench films. Well this week we were once again intrigued by a list ranking the best films by one of our favourite actresses – Dame Emma Thompson.

Andrew Pulver’s list of the top ten Thompson films was as follows:

10. Love Actually (2003) 

We loved this film. Emma Thompson’s character is utterly relatable and entirely endearing. But unlike in Sense and Sensibility (which we’ll come to later), Alan Rickman who stars opposite her isn’t the honest Colonel Brandon who Emma’s Elinor Dashwood sees her as the knight in shining armour for her sister Marianne, but rather plays Emma’s husband with a wandering eye and the ability to break her heart. If you haven’t seen it before, definitely watch this film and be prepared to cry buckets when that necklace-CD mix up takes place.

9. Junior (1994) 

We had completely forgotten about this one! Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t who we’d typically pair with Emma Thompson, but it did seem to work…

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Order of the Phoenix/Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2004/2007/2011) 

In the Harry Potter series we see Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman on set together again (it’s surprising how many films they both star in). This time we see Emma playing the wonderfully weird Professor Sybil Trelawney with style and some of the most gawky Coke-bottle glasses we’ve ever seen.

7. In the Name of the Father (1993)

“Emma Thompson shows inner steel playing the radical lawyer Gareth Peirce.” We can’t add much to this assessment as we’ve not seen it ourselves.

6. The Children Act (2017)

Emma Thompson plays a judge in this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s recently recently novel of the same name. She’s the ideal combination of incredibly intelligent and emotionally susceptible.

5. The Tall Guy (1989) 

Apparently this has a classic “furniture-smashing, milk-carton-rolling sex scene” in it. Again, we wouldn’t know, as we haven’t seen it.

4. The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015)

“Thompson is totally unrecognisable and completely fantastic as Barney’s mum: a cigarette-chugging chip hooverer, swathed in fake fur and prosthetic jowls. Worth seeking out for her alone.”

3. The Remains of the Day (1993)

Thompson plays Miss Kenton, the slightly less repressed of the two head servants in a pre-war English mansion. Her Miss Kenton to Anthony Hopkins’ Stevens is a sight to behold.

2. Howards End (1992)

This film saw Emma Thompson win her first Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel. When it comes to Period Dramas, Emma is truly a master.

1. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Well this had to be at number one didn’t it? As well as starring in the film as Elinor Dashwood, Emma wrote the script for the film (and some highly entertaining diaries documenting the filming process). In the eyes of the Jane Austen News, she will always be one of the great champions of Jane Austen’s works.

Also, if you haven’t seen the acceptance speech which she made when collecting her Golden Globe for her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, it’s a delight:

 

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