Emma Thompson: Our Fair Lady

I knew I’d seen an Oscar-worthy performance when, at the end of Brideshead Revisited, I truly detested Lady Marchmain. Not that anyone would be fond of the cold, calculating, religiously abusive woman, but she was played by one of my favorite actors, Emma Thompson.

I would guess that the highest praise you could give an actor is that she became the character — and Thompson has been recognized many times for her talent. She won an Emmy for my personal favorite of her roles, playing a closeted Midwesterner (and lesbian) on Ellen. If you’ve never seen that episode, find it — it’s a brilliant piece of self-parody.

She also won the New York Film Critics Award, Golden Globe and Academy Award as Best Actress for Howard’s End.

Thompson was nominated as Best Actress for Sense and Sensibility, but her win was for adapting the Jane Austen novel for the screen. Yes, she’s not only a gifted actor; she’s a kick-ass writer. No wonder I’m in love.

This week, Playbill reported that Thompson has signed on to write the screenplay for the upcoming remake of My Fair Lady. The film will use the famous Lerner and Loewe score (thank heaven), but the script will expand on the original by drawing material from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

I’m not much of a remake fan, particularly when classics like My Fair Lady are involved, but hearing of Thompson’s involvement makes me feel a lot better about the project. Let’s just hope Thompson writes in a part for herself. I mean, who says Professor Higgins has to be a man?

For more Emma Thompson goodness, check out her wonderful answers to Vanity Fair’s “Proust Questionnaire” (Her most overused phrase: “Is it time for a drink?”) and a particularly charming commentary from Dorothy Snarker at her site.

Have you seen Brideshead Revisited? Do you think Oscar will come calling for Thompson’s performance? What is your favorite Emma Thompson role?

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