This will be a weekly column featuring the star of one of the week’s new releases, where I will choose their best performance, worst performance, and an under-the-radar gem. To celebrate the release of The Girl on the Train, I thought I would start with British beauty Emily Blunt! Note: the clips attached to this article contain spoilers.
BEST PERFORMANCE – Kate Macer, Sicario (2015)
In director Denis Villeneuve’s Mexican drug-cartel crime thriller, Blunt plays Kate – an FBI agent who quickly finds she is in over her head when sent to wipe out the cartel responsible for the deaths of many members of her team. The role allowed Blunt to really show off her stuff, playing a character who is both powerful and vulnerable at the same time, as well as providing her with a collection of intense action scenes mixed in with some really quiet character moments.
Emily Blunt has been really good in a number of movies (Edge of Tomorrow, Into the Woods, The Adjustment Bureau) but Sicario provided her the most shades to play and she excelled at each and every one. A sequel to Sicario has been greenlit, but sadly Blunt is not attached to return which is a real shame considering the character’s complexity and the incredible performance given by Blunt.
WORST PERFORMANCE – Queen Freya, The Huntsman: Winters War (2016)
It’s hard to blame Blunt for this one – when you have Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain all in a movie together and none of them turn in a good performance there is obviously a bigger problem. That said, her performance as the villain(ish) of the film is completely flat and lifeless. She speaks in a whisper through most of the film, aside from when she cranks it up to an eleven and goes overboard on occasion. It’s a performance that is comparable (though not nearly as horrendous) to Eddie Redmayne’s whisper-yell in Jupiter Ascending.
Picking a worst performance for Emily was a lot harder than I expected. I don’t consider any of her performances to be awful, but this one is definitely the closest to reach that bar. On the bright side. she looked great in those costumes and got to pretend to be an ice queen. I suppose there are worse fates.
UNDER-THE-RADAR PERFORMANCE – Iris, Your Sister’s Sister (2011)
Despite a title that makes it sound like an entry in the American Pie franchise – one of the straight to DVD ones – Your Sister’s Sister is a charming, moving and hilarious film that virtually nobody has seen. I only found it because I searched “Emily Blunt” on Netflix and it came up. The film has a really casual tone to it and seems almost like a documentary due to it’s completely believable characters and their relationships. Blunt plays Iris, a witty woman who has to contend with the fact that her sister has fallen for her boyfriend. It’s a stripped, natural performance that depends completely on her likability and she delivers in spades. The movie is perfect for a rainy day, or for any Emily Blunt fan.
So, that’s it! What do you think is Emily Blunt’s best performance? Her worst? Do you know of another under-the-radar gem she stars in? Let me know down below, and as always thank you for reading!