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Emily Watson - Emily Watson, London, England - at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards 2011 at the Marriot Hotel - Arrivals Monday 7th February 2011

Emily Watson

Emily Watson - Monday 10th December 2007 at Ziegfeld Theatre New York City, USA

Emily Watson
Emily Watson
Emily Watson

Miss Potter Review


Weak
Chris Noonan's Miss Potter continues a rather long line of films that attempt to diagnose the creative process of a writer and the critical world that surrounds the writer's inherent social (emotional) ineptitude. There are moments where Miss Potter seems to be on the right track in feeling out the emotional trajectory of its main character, but it often chooses the route of greater cuteness over the challenges of trying to study the life of a writer.

Beatrix Potter (Renée Zellweger) came from a well-off family and was well past her marriage date when three brothers agreed to publish her book, expecting nothing more than a minor profit. In case the name doesn't ring a bell, Miss Potter was the brains behind the beloved Peter Rabbit and several other indelible creatures of delightful fantasy. When the elder statesmen of the publishing firm deem the project unworthy of their time, they send their young brother (Ewan McGregor), to handle the book and its flighty author. As you may guess, the two fall head-over-heels, much to the chagrin of Beatrix's parents (Bill Patterson and Barbara Flynn) and to the glee of his sister (Emily Watson, the film's most evident charm factory).

Continue reading: Miss Potter Review

The Proposition Review


Excellent

The opening of John Hillcoat's The Proposition wastes no time getting you in the mood. Four or five criminals are being shot at in a small shack and quickly answer back with ample fire power. Blood spurts everywhere, and two Asian prostitutes are quickly disposed of.

It's the 1880s: Dirt and dust are on the rise and hygiene is sadly in decline. The Burns brothers have been split up: Eddie (Danny Huston) has run off into the desert caves of Australia while Charlie (Guy Pearce) and Mike (Richard Wilson) have gotten snagged in a gunfight. The captain of the local English sheriffs, Captain Stanley (a brooding Ray Winstone), has ordered the hanging of Mike but tells Charlie that if he kills Eddie, he will turn them both free.

Continue reading: The Proposition Review

Punch-Drunk Love Review


OK
Most wouldn't put Paul Thomas Anderson and the genre of romantic comedy in the same room and expect them to work together well. The director of Magnolia and Boogie Nights tends to shy from the formulaic filmmaking inherent in warming the hearts of couples, and that's certainly not the purpose of Punch-Drunk Love. The problem is defining just exactly what that purpose is to begin with.

The estimable Emily Watson plays Lena Leonard, Barry Egan's (Adam Sandler) ultimate dream woman. In fact, she's everyone's vision of virtue in her ability to ignore or simply not care about whatever foolish stunt Barry pulls. Perhaps, as the heavy-laid music at one point suggests, the very attraction is that she is so normal while he is such a buffoon. Once you get over the idea that love at first sight with two eclectic characters would be cute, something has to provoke you to root for the cause, and whatever that could have been never happens.

Continue reading: Punch-Drunk Love Review

Corpse Bride Review


Good
Comparisons between Tim Burton's stop-motion endeavors The Nightmare Before Christmas (which he co-wrote) and Corpse Bride (which he co-directed) are inevitable and unfair. The former will always be the Neil Armstrong of this particular animation genre, the first feature-length example of its kind that injects a challenging medium with creativity and heart.

Bride, now the Buzz Aldrin of Burton's stop-motion movies, strains under the effort to duplicate Nightmare's success, but it simply lacks that new-car smell. While still inventive in parts, it's nowhere near as innovative. Burton and collaborator Mike Johnson are content to walk an established path where the superior Nightmare feverishly broke hallowed ground.

Continue reading: Corpse Bride Review

Red Dragon Review


Very Good
Red Dragon has just about everything going against it.

It's the third movie in a series that won an insane number of Oscars (The Silence of the Lambs) and was promptly followed by one of the worst films in recent memory (Hannibal). It's a prequel... and its big star (Anthony Hopkins) is about 20 years too old. And it's a remake of a minor cult classic (Manhunter), a fantastic film which will invariably stomp the crap out of Red Dragon in the history books.

Continue reading: Red Dragon Review

Breaking The Waves Review


Very Good
Lars von Trier knows weird and creepy. In northern Scotland, a woman (Watson) pines away in prayer for her husband (Skarsgård), who is offshore on an oil rig. When he is knocked into vegetable-land in an accident, he asks her to have sex with other men since he is unable to do so. Things get more and more deviant, while Watson's religious fervor gets more and more pronounced. Keep your eyes open -- despite an ass-numbing length (just shy of 3 hours), Watson's Oscar-nominated performance and a goose-bump-raising tale make Breaking the Waves a rare creepfest.

Angela's Ashes Review


OK
Cigarettes.

The title: Angela's Ashes refers to cigarettes and not cremation. If someone had told me this before I had entered the film, I might have enjoyed it more than I did. Then again, if someone had told me about the rest of the film, I might have asked for a final cigarette before going in to Angela's Ashes.

Continue reading: Angela's Ashes Review

Separate Lies Review


Good
A film that would be perfectly at home on the BBC or PBS, Julian Fellowes' Separate Lies is a solid if somewhat stolid tale of romance, betrayal, and deception that's something akin to Gosford Park (which Fellowes' scripted) by way of In the Bedroom. Adapted from Nigel Balchin's novel A Way Through the Wood, Fellowes' directorial debut is much like its upper-crust married protagonists James (Tom Wilkinson) and Anne Manning (Emily Watson) in that its competent and classy exterior masks a messy, banal interior as it charts the couple's slow disintegration. With made-for-TV blandness, the film chronicles adultery, murder, and deceit involving callous young stallion William Bule (Rupert Everett) and the Mannings' loyal maid Maggie (Linda Bassett). That isn't to say that this well-acted, tasteful film is a waste; rather, it's simply a somewhat stuffy British production whose boilerplate melodrama leaves little room for a revelatory examination of selfishness, sneakiness, self-preservation, and sacrifice.

James and Anne's wealth affords them life's finest luxury accoutrements (residences in both London and the country, fancy cars, servants), but restlessness simmers underneath this apparently cheery, perfect veneer, with Anne soon catapulting their domestic bliss into chaos when she begins a torrid affair with William. When a mysterious Range Rover runs down Maggie's husband, Anne and William come under suspicion for the murder from both the police and James, the latter of whom endeavors to protect his wife (and, equally as important, his own reputation as a big-time barrister) by helping to cover up her possible role in the crime. Fellowes wastes little time on mystery, however, as his prime preoccupation is the method by which relationships crumble due to tragedies both big (the hit-and-run death) and, just as vitally, small (James and Anne's lack of warmth, inability to communicate, and joint desire to sweep unhappiness under the Persian rug lest it disrupt their comfortable existence). And with Anne unwilling to cast aside her youngish paramour to return to her husband, the film quickly becomes a case study in people's inability to fully suppress their most urgent desires and discontent.

Continue reading: Separate Lies Review

Cradle Will Rock Review


Very Good
Arguably, one of the best directors of the motion picture industry, Orson Welles was once quoted as saying, "When I die, they'll be picking over my creative bones. The films will suddenly get financing; the films will get restored. Old scripts that we couldn't get financed, they'll find the financing for some kid to direct."

Strangely enough, Welles couldn't have been more prophetic.

Continue reading: Cradle Will Rock Review

The Boxer Review


Very Good
What kind of boxer doesn't have a killer instinct? Well, after 14 years in prison for IRA-related crimes, you might lose your taste for violence too. And that's exactly what Daniel Day-Lewis's Boxer does -- he can't finish a fight, and when called upon by his old IRA buddies, he can't work for them either. This gets our Irish friend in a heap of trouble, making for a reasonably good movie, no matter how creepy Emily Watson is. (Which is to say: pretty damn creepy.)

Trixie Review


OK
It's a damn shame when a bad movie happens to a great actor. It's even worse when you try to enjoy their performance in the film while being distracted by a terrible wasteland of a script. Such is the sad case of Alan Rudolph's latest "screwball noir" farce, Trixie, a misguided attempt at expanding the noir genre by giving it a comedic twist.

Everything seemed to be in place to make a good film out of Trixie, starting with a great cast of Nick Nolte, Will Patton, Dermot Mulrooney, newcomer Brittany Murphy, Nathan Lane, and the wonderfully versatile actress Emily Watson. The story follows a misunderstood girl named Trixie, who has an annoying habit of mixing up her metaphors - with such memorable lines as "life is no bed of gravy" and "it's like looking through a needle for a haystack." Trixie holds dead-end jobs as a security guard for low-rent department stores but yearns for something better in her life. Don't we all. Eventually she takes a job at a casino resort as an undercover cop and gets involved in a tangled mess of a political sex scandal/murder mystery. Don't you just hate when that happens?!

Continue reading: Trixie Review

Metroland Review


Good
Metroland: a gritty post-modern thriller in the tradition of Blade Runner? Not quite. Metroland is actually a suburb of London, where Bale's character is questioning his life decision to marry Watson, after old friend and hedonist Ross shows up in town. Most of his anguish comes in the form of nostalgia over wild French ex-girlfriend Zylberstein, and rightly so. Dumping her for Watson was indeed a really, really stupid thing to do.

Gosford Park Review


Good
If Robert Altman had been given The Remains of the Day, the end product might have looked something like this.

Gosford Park is the name of an English country estate, where, in 1932, a gaggle of royals and wannabes -- including a horde of locals plus a popular British actor and a Charlie Chan-obsessed Hollywood movie producer -- gather to attend a weekend hunting party. Upstairs, it's the usual hoity-toity, drawing room chitter-chatter, while downstairs an army of servants does little but gossip about the visitors above.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

The Luzhin Defence Review


Very Good
Early on in the period drama The Luzhin Defence, Emily Watson's Natalia proclaims that she wants something different, and that's just what we get through most of this adaptation, based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel of chess and madness. But as acclaimed director Marleen Gorris (Mrs. Dalloway) takes us toward the vital final act, that sense of originality seems to fade.

Luckily, we are saved throughout by Watson's performance. As a woman vacationing with her pesky mother in 1920s Italy, she stumbles upon eccentric, pained, chess genius Alexander Luzhin, or more accurately, he stumbles upon her. Luzhin, played by a solid and risk-taking John Turturro, is disheveled and awkward, the kind of absent-minded obsessive that draws stares of both scorn and jealousy. Watson and Turturro, both at the top of their talents, create a sort of Romeo and Juliet -- he's reckless and unkempt, she's proper and well-mannered.

Continue reading: The Luzhin Defence Review

Hilary And Jackie Review


Very Good
It's getting to the point where I've just seen enough movies about crazy musicians and whacked-out siblings. Hilary and Jackie gives us both(!), so if you haven't had your fill of these two genres, here's a chance to knock both out at once.

The true story of the Du Pre sisters, we get to see them grow up and become famous musicians. Hilary (Griffiths) ends up opting out of the limelight to raise kids and chickens in the country. Jackie (Watson) goes all-out in her quest to be a solo cellist, and of course, she goes totally bonkers before too long.

Continue reading: Hilary And Jackie Review

The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers Review


Very Good
Discussion topic: Which of the following people can accurately be described as "comic geniuses"? Woody Allen. Adam Sandler. Groucho Marx. Gilda Radner.

You're unlikely to get consensus on such a phrase, except for one: Peter Sellers. Everybody knows he was a genius, right?

Continue reading: The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers Review

Corpse Bride Review


Good

"Tim Burton's Corpse Bride" returns the director to his roots in the giddy macabre, and what an entertaining homecoming it is.

Using old-fashioned stop-motion animation (which Burton has improved upon since his first foray in "The Nightmare Before Christmas") to create atmospheric scenes populated by hoity Victorian caricatures and oddball creatures from a wonderfully weird underworld, the movie spins a fairytale fable of shy, awkward young Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp) whose arranged marriage to shy, pretty young Victoria (Emily Watson) is derailed when he accidentally gets hitched to a curvy, wide-eyed -- and decaying -- corpse (Helena Bonham Carter).

Although he's fallen in love with Victoria on first sight the night before they're to be wed, Victor is nervous about being thrust into 'til-death-do-us-part by his social-climbing nouveau riche parents and her family of snobbish but flat-broke aristocrats. Nervously practicing his vows in the creaking, snow-frosted forest on the outskirts of his gray industrial village (after fleeing the rehearsal ceremony), Victor slips Victoria's ring onto what looks like a naked branch sticking up from the frozen ground.

Continue reading: Corpse Bride Review

Gosford Park Review


Very Good

You may need a program to keep track of the two dozen-plus characters in Robert Altman's soap opera, murder mystery, chamber comedy-of-manners "Gosford Park."

Carpeted with dry wit and filled to the rafters with salacious secrets and unspoken animosity, the film takes place at an English country estate in 1932 and unfolds from two points of view -- above stairs, where a multitude of aristocrats size each other up in subtle sociological war games, and below stairs, where their gossipy maids and valets fall into a strict pecking order based upon whom they serve.

The estate is the home of the aloof upper-crusters Sir William and Lady Sylvia McCordle (Michael Gambon and Kristin Scott Thomas) and it's gathering place for their many coattail-riding relatives, including Aunt Constance (the wonderful, quizzically austere Maggie Smith) who habitually puts on airs as if she's not living off an allowance from the McCordles.

Continue reading: Gosford Park Review

Metroland Review


Weak

I was debating a friend a couple days ago who wonderedaloud why no one makes movies about platonic friends.

I said, "Who would want to see a movie about a guybeing told 'Let's be just friends'?"

A similar question could be posed regarding "Metrola=nd":Who would want to see a movie about being complacent and content in suburbia?

Continue reading: Metroland Review

Red Dragon Review


Weak

The bone-chilling psycho intellect of Hannibal Lecter may loom effectively over several scenes in "Red Dragon," a new adaptation of the Thomas Harris book that came before "Silence of the Lambs," but anyone half as smart as the erudite cannibal could easily pick apart this otherwise pedestrian serial-killer thriller.

Heavily Hollywoodized by uncreative director Brett Ratner (the "Rush Hour" movies), the film follows the "Lambs" template of an FBI agent (in this case a top-notch ex-profiler played by Edward Norton) consulting the imprisoned Dr. Lecter (Anthony Hopkins in fine form) for help finding another truly deranged maniac (Ralph Fiennes).

But unlike "Silence," or the "Red Dragon" novel, or its superior first adaptation -- Michael Mann's "Manhunter" (1986) -- this picture is dumbed down with connect-the-dots narrative shorthand and a tacked-on, grossly unoriginal, killer's-not-really-dead-yet climax.

Continue reading: Red Dragon Review

Punch-Drunk Love Review


Good

Dingbat love has never been as oddly appealing as in "Punch-Drunk Love," a surrealistically fluffy romance from the traditionally somber Paul Thomas Anderson ("Boogie Nights," "Magnolia").

Affably, obligingly abstract from the curiously inspired casting of Adam Sandler as a meek, sad, eccentric romantic hero to the peculiar plot about sex chat-line extortion and pudding-procured frequent flyer miles, it's a charming, strange little movie that strikes at the heart while the head is still trying to figure it out.

The story begins about 6 in the morning, with early-to-rise goofball entrepreneur Barry Egan (Sandler) sitting at a plain desk in the empty corner of the warehouse where his startup company makes novelty toilet plungers (wedding cake figurines perched atop the handle, dice and dollar bills in transparent handles for Vegas hotels, etc.). Compelled to take a walk outside with his ever-present cup of coffee, he witnesses a traffic accident on the near-empty street, while at the same time a minivan pulls up in front of him and dumps a harmonium (like a miniature console piano with accordion bellows under the keyboard) on the curb for no discernable reason. Such is the irrationally whimsical world of a P.T. Anderson picture.

Continue reading: Punch-Drunk Love Review

The Luzhin Defence Review


OK

John Turturro is all about idiosyncrasies in "The Luzhin Defence," an adaptation of a Vladimir Nobokov novel in which the actor plays a brilliant 1920s chess grand master whose strict, sometimes cruel upbringing has left him an erratic social misfit.

Deeply submerged in his character, he walks like he's forever in the middle of trying to prevent a stumble. Reflected in his busy eyes is the fact that his mind is compulsively darting and dashing about. And he's a man who lacks certain social graces -- like getting a girl's name before he proposes marriage to her.

Visiting a lakeside resort chateau in northern Italy for a championship chess tournament, Alexander Luzhin (Turturro) finds himself distracted by a beautiful Russian heiress named Natalia (Emily Watson), on holiday with her persnickety bluenosed parents. Unable to get her out of his mind after one brief encounter and not adept at social interaction, Luzhin approaches her out of the blue, while she's in the middle of playing tennis, to burst out his proposal.

Continue reading: The Luzhin Defence Review

Trixie Review


Weak

Undeniably an ardently independent filmmaker with unique and eccentric vision, Alan Rudolph has made some peculiarly fascinating movies.

"Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle" radiated with atmospheric, addled Algonquin Roundtable intellectualism. "Afterglow" made the threadbare theme of marital infidelity almost hypnotically riveting.

Even when he goes down in flames, like he did with last year's "Breakfast of Champions" adaptation, he does it so spectacularly that it's almost impossible to look away.

Continue reading: Trixie Review

Angela's Ashes Review


Good

Over instantly bleak and rainy establishing shots of the potholed cobblestone streets and muddy back alleys of a crumbling tenement row in 1930s Limerick, Ireland, "Angela's Ashes" opens with a quote from Frank McCourt, the author whose mega-best selling memoir is the basis of the film:

"When I look back on my childhood, I wonder how my brothers and I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

Brother, he ain't kiddin'. In the first 20 minutes of the picture, three of young Frank's infant siblings have died, his irresponsible drunk of a father (Robert Carlyle) has squandered the family's dole money, his mom (Emily Watson) has gone begging to the St. Vincent DePaul for food, clothing and furniture, and the kids have stood outside the coal plant waiting for delivery trucks to go by so they can pick up spilled remnants of the black fuel to heat their crumbling, frequently flooded, two-room home -- which is located adjacent to the drain where the entire street dumps out their chamber pots.

Continue reading: Angela's Ashes Review

Emily Watson

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Emily Watson

Date of birth

14th January, 1967

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Female

Height

1.73


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Emily Watson Movies

Everest Movie Review

Everest Movie Review

With visually stunning imagery and a solid A-list cast, this film just about transcends its...

Everest Trailer

Everest Trailer

When two different climbing parties set out on the expedition of their lives, they knew...

Everest - Teaser Trailer

Everest - Teaser Trailer

Some people get a once in a lifetime chance to make history. Some people, unfortunately...

A Royal Night Out Movie Review

A Royal Night Out Movie Review

Although it takes a breezy, sometimes silly approach to a fragment of a true story,...

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A Royal Night Out Trailer

A Royal Night Out Trailer

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth are distinctly unworldly despite their prestigious education as young women,...

Testament of Youth Movie Review

Testament of Youth Movie Review

A classic British memoir gets the full costume drama treatment with this beautifully crafted World...

The Theory of Everything Movie Review

The Theory of Everything Movie Review

An unusual point of view prevents this from ever turning into the standard biopic, but...

Little Boy Trailer

Little Boy Trailer

Pepper Flynt Busbee (Jakob Salvati) is a 7-year-old boy who stands much shorter than any...

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Testament of Youth Trailer

Testament of Youth Trailer

Vera Brittain is an extraordinarily talented young woman who battles the odds to land herself...

The Theory Of Everything Trailer

The Theory Of Everything Trailer

Coming from a privileged upbringing, cosmologist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking naturally had a first-rate...

Belle Movie Review

Belle Movie Review

The plot feels like a Jane Austen novel infused with a hot-potato political issue, but...

The Book Thief Movie Review

The Book Thief Movie Review

While there's a strong story in here about the power of literature and the fragility...

Belle Trailer

Belle Trailer

Dido Elizabeth Belle is the mixed race daughter of Royal Navy officer Captain John Lindsay...

The Book Thief Trailer

The Book Thief Trailer

Liesel Meminger is a 9-year-old girl who is forced to be separated from her family...

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