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Everest Review

OK

With visually stunning imagery and a solid A-list cast, this film just about transcends its oddly uninvolving story. Based on true events, the scenes are harrowing and emotive, but spreading the story among an ensemble obscured by mountaineering gear and snowstorms makes it difficult to engage with anyone. And the plot-strands that do find emotional resonance feel like they've been manipulated.

In the early 1990s, companies began selling Everest expeditions to wealthy clients, and by the spring of 1996 there were 20 teams of climbers jostling for position on the slopes of the world's highest peak. Kiwi guide Rob (Jason Clarke) opts for a cautious approach with his team, which includes impatient Texan Beck (Josh Brolin), journalist Jon (Michael Kelly) and the nervous Doug (John Hawkes), who only just failed to reach the summit on his previous attempt. Rob's base camp manager Helen (Emily Watson) keeps everything running smoothly and, since the mountain is so overcrowded, Rob coordinates the climb with a rival guide (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his team. On the day of the final ascent, the skies are clear, but delays along the way and an approaching storm threaten the climbers.

Since the is a true story, it's clear from the start that some of these people won't make it home. And Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur lays on the emotion thickly, with an overly pushy-majestic score by Dario Marianelli and several sentimental phone calls home. Rob's wife is played by Keira Knightley, and you can almost hear the ominous chord when she reveals that she's pregnant. A bit subtler is Beck's interaction with his wife, played with insinuating bitterness by the always terrific Robin Wright. Meanwhile, Clarke's sensitive leader and Brolin's bullheaded alpha male contrast nicely with Gyllenhaal's cool dude, while Sam Worthington is almost lost in the shuffle as a friend who's climbing a neighbouring peak.

Continue reading: Everest Review

Awards Season Kicks Off With Venice Film Festival 2015


Venice Film Festival Jake Gyllenhaal Robin Wright Emily Watson Jason Clarke Eddie Redmayne Idris Elba Johnny Depp Tilda Swinton Ralph Fiennes Dakota Johnson Michael Keaton Mark Ruffalo Stanley Tucci

With the Venice Film Festival kicking off this week, awards season is officially underway. Venice has been the launchpad for a number of films that have gone on to Oscar glory. Last year, the opening night film was Birdman, and the year before it was Gravity. So there are big hopes for this year's opener, the true-life thriller Everest, directed by Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur with an ensemble cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright, Emily Watson and Jason Clarke.

Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Everest'Jake Gyllenhaal stars in true story disaster thriller 'Everest'

And anticipation is running even higher for a number of other movies. Venice is hosting the premiere of The Danish Girl, the true story of one of the world's first-known transgender women, played by Eddie Redmayne. Can he win back-to-back Oscars? This week's new poster and trailer are very promising.

Continue reading: Awards Season Kicks Off With Venice Film Festival 2015

Everest Trailer


When two different climbing parties set out on the expedition of their lives, they knew there would be dangers; however, no-one could prepare them for the tragedy that was in store. Reaching the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal is every passionate climbers dream, but this isn't a trip to take lightly. Such altitudes and temperatures are not meant to be experienced by human beings as frostbite and altitude sickness are almost inevitable perils, not to mention falling, strong winds and, of course, avalanches. As fate would have it, these climbers are about to run into one of the worst snowstorms ever documented as an earthquake hits the nation and mother nature has no mercy. Victory turns to catastrophe in an event that will change the lives of the survivors.

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Everest - Teaser Trailer


Some people get a once in a lifetime chance to make history. Some people, unfortunately end fining themselves part of events that live in infamy. Such is the story of the people who attempted to climb the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, in 1996. Their story would later be referred to as the 1996 Mount Everest disaster, as two competing expeditions were caught on the mountain by a horrific storm, leading to the most terrifying events on the mountain until that point. This is the story of those climbers.

Continue: Everest - Teaser Trailer

A Royal Night Out Review


Good

Although it takes a breezy, sometimes silly approach to a fragment of a true story, this British period film has enough charm to keep audiences entertained, thanks to its lively cast and ambitious recreation of historical events. Director Julian Jarrold (Kinky Boots) may be largely fictionalising what happened to real people on VE Day 70 years ago, but he certainly knows how to have some fun at the same time. And the film has some intriguing things to say about how the world has changed since then.

Victory in Europe was declared on May 8th 1945, and the streets of London filled with disorderly celebrations. Watching all of this from within Buckingham Palace, the teen princesses Elizabeth and Margaret (Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley) are desperate to get out there and mingle with the crowd. Their parents, King George VI and Queen Elzabeth (Rupert Everett and Emily Watson), reluctantly agree to let them leave with two military escorts (Jack Laskey and Jack Gordon). But they soon lose their chaperones in the party atmosphere in The Ritz. The ditzy Margaret heads off into the night visiting a string of parties, while Elizabeth tries to track her down, assisted by a helpful stranger, airman Jack (Jack Reynor), an anti-royalist who has no idea who this young woman actually is.

First of all, it's intriguing to remember that in 1945 people in the streets wouldn't have recognised the princesses, especially since they had essentially been locked out of view for the previous seven years. This is inconceivable now, as is the idea of revellers filling the streets celebrating victory in a war, because no generation since has had a war end on a remotely positive note. These kinds of themes add subtext to what is otherwise a frothy romp punctuated by moments of silly slapstick. Jarrold recreates the evening beautifully on-screen, with a real sense of the club-lined streets of Mayfair, the drug dens of Soho, the flag-waving crowds going wild in Trafalgar Square, and the bombed-out city returning to life.

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Celebrities At The ITV Studios

Emily Watson - Emily Watson outside ITV Studios - London, United Kingdom - Monday 11th May 2015

Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson

A Royal Night Out Trailer


Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth are distinctly unworldly despite their prestigious education as young women, but when World War 2 comes to an end in 1945, even their parents King George and Queen Elizabeth can't deny them the chance to celebrate. And so it is that the girls are allowed to venture out into London, to join the men and women of the country in their parties - albeit going incognito and on the one condition that they are chaperoned by two soldiers. As it turns out, it's impossible to hide their identity for long and soon everyone knows that the future Queen of England and her sister are out fraternising with soldiers - and their royal parents are faced with worry when they are out much later than they should have been.

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Testament Of Youth Review


Good

A classic British memoir gets the full costume drama treatment with this beautifully crafted World War I drama, although it never quite transcends the "beloved book" tone, remaining so worthy that it only rarely springs to life. The acting is sharp, as is the filmmaking, so it's frustrating that there's so little in the film that resonates with present-day audiences. And as the story sinks into a murky gloom, it's difficult for audiences to stay engaged.

Based on Vera Brittain's iconic memoir, the story opens in 1914, as Vera (Alicia Vikander) begs her parents (Emily Watson and Dominic West) to let her sit entrance exams at Oxford, which simply isn't the done thing for a proper young woman. She also has to convince them to let her brother Edward (Taron Egerton) sign up for military service in response to the conflict breaking out in Europe. But Vera is shocked when her sweetheart Roland (Kit Harington) also decides to enlist along with two close friends (Colin Morgan and Jonathan Bailey). Suddenly the war seems far too close to home for her. So she's provoked to leave university and volunteer as a nurse, serving in both England and France while the war rages around her.

The film's opening section contains a beautiful spark of hopefulness as these young people face the possibilities ahead of them, revelling in their education and then deciding to do their duty for their country. The rising-star cast packs the characters with cheeky humour, high energy and, yes, suitably repressed Britishness. But of course the realities of WWI change everything. Vikander handles this mood-swing very nicely, conveying Vera's resilience as she is bombarded with intense emotions. Her chemistry with Harington is strong, packed with passion. And the surrounding cast is terrific, even if most of the roles are relatively slight. The stand-outs are Richardson as a prickly Oxford professor and Atwell as a feisty fellow nurse.

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The Theory Of Everything Review


Extraordinary

An unusual point of view prevents this from ever turning into the standard biopic, but it's Eddie Redmayne's staggeringly committed performance as Stephen Hawking that makes the film unmissable. Based on the book by Stephen's wife Jane Hawking, the film uses her perspective to recount the events with their relationship firmly at the centre, which adds a personal angle the audience can engage with. This diverts the attention from Hawking's scientific breakthroughs, but makes the film both energetic and emotionally riveting.

It opens in 1963 when Stephen (Redmayne) is a rising-star at Cambridge, already a genius who thinks far outside the box. But he also has a sharp sense of humour, which makes it easy to see what Jane (Felicity Jones) sees in this brainy black-hole-obsessed geek. Then just as their relationship begins to get serious, he is diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live. Instead of giving up, Jane marries him and has three kids as Stephen defies the doctor's prognosis. As his physical condition deteriorates, they get help from two people who become unexpectedly close: widowed choir director Jonathan (Charlie Cox) and medical assistant Elaine (Maxine Peake). And even as their marriage comes apart under the pressure, Jane and Stephen remain deeply connected to each other.

Anthony McCarten's script cleverly lets big ideas swirl around each scene without swamping the more human story. The central factor in Stephen and Jane's interaction centres on faith: his in science, hers in God. Stephen continues to seek a theory that will scientifically explain the nature of existence, while Jane catches him out when he takes a leap of faith himself. And the film lets all of this play out through their interaction with a variety of terrific side characters, including Stephen's tutor (David Thewlis), his colleagues (Harry Lloyd and Enzo Cilenti), his father (Simon McBurney) and Jane's mother (Emily Watson). Each performance is packed with telling nuance, while Jones gives the film a textured heart and soul.

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BFI London Film Festival Centrepiece Gala: Testament Of Youth

Emily Watson - BFI London Film Festival Centrepiece Gala: Testament of Youth held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 14th October 2014

Emily Watson

Little Boy Trailer


Pepper Flynt Busbee (Jakob Salvati) is a 7-year-old boy who stands much shorter than any of his classmates, to the worry of his mother (Emily Watson). He has few worries himself though, despite the occasional bully, forever playing adventure games with his beloved father (Michael Rapaport) and feeling like he can take on the world. Things take a turn for the worst, however, when his father is sent off to fight during the troubles of World War II. Distraught, Pepper is willing to do anything to get his father back, and when he is encouraged to use his focus to move an object during a magic show, he starts to see that he really can do anything. He's determined to use his ability to summon Mr. Busbee back home, but he has to be careful never to let a single trace of doubt cross his mind.

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BFI London Film Festival Gala Screening Of 'Testament Of Youth' - Arrivals

Emily Watson - BFI London Film Festival Gala Screening of 'Testament of Youth' - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 14th October 2014

Emily Watson
Emily Watson

BFI London Film Festival Centrepiece Gala: Testament Of Youth

Emily Watson - Photographs from the British Film Institute's London Film Festival Centrepiece Gala: Testament of Youth at Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 14th October 2014

Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson

LFF: Testament Of Youth - Official Screening

Emily Watson - Photographs from the British Film Institute's London Film Festival Gala Screening of 'Testament of Youth' in London, United Kingdom - Monday 13th October 2014

Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson

Emily Watson Set For London Bombings Drama 'A Song For Jenny'


Emily Watson Hayley Atwell

The British actress Emily Watson is to star in a BBC drama based on the London 7/7 bombings. Watson will play Julie Nicholson, whose daughter Jenny was killed at Edgware Road underground station. 

Emily WatsonEmily Watson will star as Julie Nicholson

A Song For Jenny is based on Nicholson's own account of the day and will be written by the playwright Frank McGuinness. Nicholson herself told the Radio Times that she was overjoyed with the re-telling of her tragic story. 

Continue reading: Emily Watson Set For London Bombings Drama 'A Song For Jenny'

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