I asked a question in my previous post, if a performer/composer/writer/etc. is dead, should all criticism of their work stop?
Are you even serious? Saying someone can't act is hateful? Jesus Freaking Christ. If that's not an overreaction, I don't know what is.Calling a person twee & saying she can't act, especially a beloved, iconice actress is hateful.
Emma Thompson expressed an opinion. You don't have to agree with it, and you don't. Great. There's enough place in the universe for those two opinions (and millions of others). The world will not end, trust me.
Why? Do you have to be perfect to be able to criticize anything? I take it, you've never criticized anything?Ms Thompson better make damn sure she is perfect in every role from now on.
Btw, if Emma Thompson never acts or writes or does anything in the public eye again, or all her roles since now on bomb terribly, she will still be a better actress than Hepburn, based on what she's accomplished so far. Yes, that's just my opinion, no one needs to slash their veins because of that.
To me it was. I tried to watch it when my mother did but I just couldn't bear it, she was sooo bad I had to leave. I even asked my mother how she could watch it. I think Hepburn was bad to the point of being ridiculous.I thought AH was wonderful in A Nun's Story...that's clearly a matter opinion, but "beyond horrible"?
Maybe so, but she will still not be a better actress because of it.IMO AH's movies will live a lot longer than any of ET's.
Funny you said that. English is not my native language and I can understand Emma Thompson just fine.At least in Audrey's movie I could actually understand every word. With Emma's snobbish faux upperclass accent, I can seldom understand what she said.
I agree with everything WS said above, including the fact that although English is not my first language, I have no trouble understanding Emma Thompson. Anyone who doubts she is at least a capable actress with a wide range should see Wit.
"Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."
from Speedy Death
I have a good friend whom I adore, but when she moved to NY she redid her apartment in the same style she loved when we were college roommates. Frilly embroidered pillows, lots of white, lots of cutesy cartoons from the 30s blown up on to make wall posters and so on. Twee was the word I thought of but god forbid you tell her I think that.
And Emma WAS too old for S&S but in Love Actually she was perfect. And a totally believable and hilarious Beatrice as well.
"Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer
Audrey Hepburn was more a filmstar than an actress. I don't see the problem with Emma Thompson's comments.
I'm baffled that anybody whose first language is English would have any problem understanding her accent.
To think that fun is simple fun, while earnest things are earnest, proves all too plain that neither one thou truthfully discernest.
I agree with allezfred. After seeing 6 or 7 of her movies, I can't say I think she's all that as an actress. She had charisma and a certain charm but no great acting chops. If it weren't for the settings and costumes, I probably wouldn't be able to tell one role from another. She was always Audrey Hepburn, much like Clark Gable was always Clark Gable, never mind the movie.
"...some people are moulded by their admiration, others by their hostilities.”
― Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
Another AH film naysayers should check out is Robin and Marian - the film as a whole is middling at best, but Hepburn gives a heartfelt performance, and her declaration of love to Sean Connery at the end is very moving. I think she once said that she wasn't a trained actress, so she relied very much on her instincts and emotions to shape a performance rather than on any learned technique. That's why in her best films you see a lot more 'heart' than you do 'head', the result being that when she had to do a big emotional scene she could come off as histrionic and artificial at times, but IMO her positives outweighed the drawbacks.
Upon fully reading the Thompson article, I noticed that she wants Carey Mulligan to play Eliza. I guess this means that Knightley is now a less likely choice, but I'm uncertain if Mulligan would fare much better. I wasn't overly impressed with her in An Education (she wasn't bad, just not outstanding), and to be honest when I realized she had been in Bleak House, I thought that if anyone from that miniseries had gone on to be a big star, it should've been Anna Maxwell Martin and not her!
They both may be eventually, I think. Martin has been working pretty steadily; I just read about her starring in another BBC miniseries, and she's been getting film and stage roles too.
Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
Emma Thompson does not speak with a faux upperclass accent. She has an Oxbridge accent (she studied at Cambridge), which is used by many educated Britons regardless of class. It is her normal speaking accent; she grew up speaking that way. I've seen her any many things, and the only time that I can recall when she has used another accent is in Dead Again. Her speaking voice is as clear as can be. This is what an upperclass English accent sounds like.
At her best, when she acts she elevates the quality of the films she is in. I loved her in Howards End and The Remains of the Day, but for me her best work is in Impromptu, where, playing the straight man (as it were) and having a secondary role, she somehow manages to steal the movie from Judy Davis, Mandy Patinkin, Hugh Grant, Julian Sands, Anna Massey, and Bernadette Peters. On the other hand, I think she has not been put to good effect in some of her recent work, like Brideshead Revisited and An Education, in which she's had "gorgon" roles that don't really suit her.
I liked her in Sense and Sensibility, even though she was too old for to be quite right for the part. One thing that bothered me about her screenplay, though, was the scene between Elinor and Mr. Ferrars where she says, in effect that she would like to work but cannot do so because it is against the rules of society. Elinor's statements are completely contrary not only to the character as conceived by Austen but to Austen's entire world view. The lines are as out of place as a Rothkoesque blotch of red paint on a Watteau.
But Emma Thompson sounds pretentious to me. I've never been much of a fan. I've liked AH in just about every film I've seen her in, so it's a matter of taste. But I still maintain that it's in terribly bad taste & unnecessary to slam AH like that. There have been many remakes of movies; others didn't find it necessary to pan the prior movie or actor/actress.
As a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, I understand where people come from when they find that she isn't a great actress. Technically, Audrey Hepburn had to rely on the excellent film directors that she had to give the performances that she did. She even admitted that she was lucky to work with so many talented directors (think about it...William Wyler, Billy Wilder, George Cuckor, Frank Zimmerman, etc.).
However, I think a lot of the criticisms are sort of missing the point about Hepburn. What she lacked in technical training, which Emma Thompson has in spades since she got her start in the theatre, she made up for in pure authenticity. She had a real ethereal charisma and earnestness that she brought in front of the screen that still is extremely rare.
Also, on stage, it's hard to fake it and the two times Audrey Hepburn worked on stage (She was the original Gigi in the play version and she was the lead in Ondine), she got out-of-this-world reviews from the harsh catty theatre critics and won every accolade available at the time.
It's understandable if one doesn't like the genre that her most popular movies were in or they find her twee. Nobody has universal fandom, and if you're as loved as Audrey Hepburn, you're going to find a lot of ardent haters who just have to prove that she doesn't deserve the attention she gets. For me, that person is Meryl Streep, who I also love but found her most recent work to be incredibly overrated (until Julie and Julia which I felt she was robbed of every award she was up for but did not win). Since I do actually love Streep, maybe a better example would be Johnny Depp who I don't think is nearly a great actor people make him out to be.
I, however, will always think that Audrey Hepburn showed tremendous raw talent in The Nun's Story, Wait Until Dark, Two for the Road, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany's (I loved parts of that movie but I wouldn't say that I like it), and yes, My Fair Lady that made up any deficit in training.
As for Julie Andrews being robbed of the role, I think she was too. However, I think it worked out for the best because she ended doing Mary Poppins, a film I adore, which gave her a sympathy Oscar. An early screening of Mary Poppins for studio heads lead to her role in The Sound of Music which made her one of the biggest stars of the 1960s and probably was the reason why she got to do one of my favorite "fun" movies, Thoroughly Modern Millie. That said, I wonder if time has been more forgiving of Julie Andrews' performance in My Fair Lady because although most people believe she got universal acclaim for it on stage at the time, she didn't (and still hasn't) won the Tony for it and I think some people criticized her cockney accent. I personally prefer Hepburn/Nixon's more introverted singing to Andrews' more celebratory, extroverted one.
Also, Hepburn seemed to come from the in-between time in Hollywood where it went from personality (Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, etc.) style of acting to the more modern natural style and the method style where you just integrate yourself into the character and change your persona to be that person (Kathleen Turner said publicly that she hates method actors and finds them selfish). Sometimes I think people wrongly equate supposed versatility with acting ability. Sometimes, people are just really good at whatever they specialize in.
All that said, I do love Emma Thompson too, but I think she's quick to criticize and dismiss the original film's merits in order to answer any criticism for the remake nobody asked for and to prop up her version. It's understandable, it's is show business.
This clip is another reason why I love Audrey.
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 08-08-2010 at 09:27 AM.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
I don't have any issue with Emma Thompson expression her opinion - given the British acting tradition, it's understandable.
I think Emma Thompson is a very capable actress. I particularly liked her in The Remains of the Day with Anthony Hopkins.
That said, she's not on par with Judi Dench.