Here's Murtada on a favorite actress we'd like to see more of.
The paparazzi might have been more interested in jurors Diane Kruger and Elizabeth Banks. The trades were into what jury head Alfonso Cuaron had to say. Most of the press coverage had more pictures of her co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin and Jason Clarke. But on the first day of the Venice Film Festival we had our eyes for Everest star Emily Watson.
It was nice to see her smiling and looking good. As the only woman from the film making the press rounds - seems Robin Wright, Keira Knightley and Elizabeth Debicki had other plans - naturally eyes gravitated towards her. This is a far cry from the frumpy mothers she has played recently in The Book Thief, Testament of Youth and especially The Theory of Everything. The latter was the nadir of that niche that was carved for her by casting directors. It was no more than a cameo and was hilariously lampooned by Nathaniel & company on the podcast.
Watson was born same year as Nicole Kidman. She’s one year older than Naomi Watts, 2 years older than Cate Blanchett. Those actresses are still getting plum parts in major movies. It’s too soon for Watson to start competing with Julie Walters and Brenda Blethyn for parts. While she’s never been the glamorous star, her fantastic turns in Breaking the Waves, Hilary & Jackie and Gosford Park certainly make her the equal of the actresses mentioned. But perhaps the more apt comparison is with someone like Helena Bonham Carter - who coincidentally turned down Watson career-making role in Waves. Helena still manages a varied range of opportunities. (We acknowledge we might be blind to fantastic work Watson has done recently for TV in the UK.)
This is a long way of saying that we hope Everest is the beginning of a new exciting phase of Watson’s career. She plays the base camp co-ordinater who is the climbers' main contact to the world outside the mountain. The reviews have been mostly positive. Some singled out Watson as “heartrending’’, others expected more. We are just grateful she has more to do than be somebody’s mother.
What would you like to see Watson do next?