Film Latest - - by Paul Klein

FIVE PERFORMANCES: Emily Blunt

FIVE PERFORMANCES: Emily Blunt IMAGE: poppaganda.net

This month sees the release of the wonderfully twisty The Girl on the Train, starring a buffet of fantastic actors and not least of all Emily Blunt as the lead role, with support from the dishy Luke Evans, the hunky Justin Theroux, the snarky Allison Janney, and the enigmatic Rebecca Ferguson. In honour of our very own home grown English Rose, we look back at her five finest moments on the silver screen. Perfect reading while you yourself are on the train.

 

Emily Charlton, The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel 2006)

A supporting role, but one of the performances you remember. Here, in the high octane world of Prada fashion, Anne Hathaway finds herself in conflict with hard-as-nails boss Meryl Streep (Oscar nominated… obviously), Stanley Tucci is your gay bestie but Emily Blunt is the scathing bitch that threatens to either make or break Hathaway’s innocent character. She gets the best lines, the best moments, and ultimately the moment that makes you re-think your assumptions of her. It’s a very well thought out performance that was not in vein, that set her on the fast track to stardom.

 

Sara, Looper (Rian Johnson 2012)

As sweaty, worn out looking mother to genocidal-monster-to-be Pierce Gagnon, Blunt is on unglamorous form in Rian Johnson’s decidedly un-fantastical sci-fi. The film is a triumph anyway, even if Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s makeup doesn’t make him look remotely like Bruce Willis, but the heart of the story is in the mother-son relationship. Blunt is able to make you feel the love, and the desire to protect a child who is filled with power and rage he can’t possibly imagine. It’s great that the person you think is the hero might not be, the villain isn’t who you think it is, and at the centre is Blunt holding the screen every moment she’s on.

 

Kate Macer, Sicario (Denis Villeneuve 2015)

Last years most overlooked film when it came to the Oscars, not least in leading lady Blunt as she goes from wide eyed innocent to hardened drug buster over the course of the tale. Though not as dark and intriguing as Benicio del Toro nor as funny as Josh Brolin, but there is something to be said of how she manages to look near constantly on the verge of crying yet utterly hard core and badass during the crucial scenes. Overlooked, but a performance that like many of Gary Oldman’s previous entries, will stand the test of time and her own career.

 

Rita Vrataski, Edge of Tomorrow: Live. Die. Repeat. (Doug Liman 2014)

All You Need is Kill, or Edge of Tomorrow or Live Die Repeat or whatever they’re calling it now was, from the outset, a fairly naff sci-fi gumbo turned-2014’s hidden gem. Doug Liman takes action-sci-fi and basically throws everything together. Here Blunt is war hero and hard core alien slayer Rita Vrataski, also known as The Angel of Verdun. She comes into contact with cowardly PR man Tom Cruise. There isn’t much of a love story, and yes, she’s not as funny as Bill Paxton, but in her action scenes (in Aliens-era robo-suits) she holds her own against Mr Charisma himself. Melding Ripley with War Machine from Iron Man via Xena Warrior Princess, she is the one that makes the film work. A sequel is apparently in the pipelines. More Emily Blunt killing aliens and taking names, with Tom Cruise charming the pants off the audience? Count us in.

 

Elise Sellas, The Adjustment Bureau (George Nolfi 2011)

Philip K. Dick might not be someone you associate with romance, his novels and short stories having become the sci-fi oeuvre contender to Stephen King’s horror legacy or Tom Clancy’s thriller back catalogue. But in The Adjustment Bureau, George Nolfi gives us a story about fate, destiny and fighting a higher power (possibly divine, possibly alien). Blunt is more than a MacGuffin for Matt Damon to chase through the streets, she’s a fully formed character with her own desires and dreams and who decides she too wants to find love at the cost of other things, because it’s her choice. Anthony Mackie, John Slattery and even a very scary turn from Terrence Stamp don’t overshadow her utterly charming turn.

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Paul Klein, a film studies graduate from London.

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