Emma Thompson Blogs (by email) About Last Chance Harvey

by Melissa Silverstein on January 15, 2009

in Actresses

emma-thompson-postersFor the last couple of weeks, I have been working with the folks at Overture Films on getting the word out about the film Last Chance Harvey.  We did a big screening in NY last night in anticipation of the national release this Friday.

Emma Thompson who first read the script from Joel Hopkins and then got it to Dustin Hoffman is standing squarely behind this film.

She put together this statement directed to bloggers and others encouraging people to see the film.

Dear Fellow Females – I’ve been asked to offer a blog on my new film, ‘Last Chance Harvey’ – which, as a computer illiterate, I get confused with ‘snog’ (British slang for kissing) and ‘shog’ (Shakespearian word used by Pistol in Henry V meaning ‘leave’) neither of which – I realise – is the correct interpretation.

But it is a comment, or view, I think, that you want, and here it is –

I shall turn 50 this year, which is not without its odd emotions and has got me thinking about being, well, old. I don’t mean decrepit, I mean not infantile, no longer so attached to things, no longer so concerned about what others think, no longer so anxious to prove myself – you may know the sort of thing I mean. It was rather a treat, therefore, to play what is – in a way – my first modern romantic lead in a film that is more romantic than comic (although it has very funny moments and is underscored with irony and subtle humour throughout) where I was not required to be stunningly attractive or in despair or in need of rescue, but simply an ordinary woman in her forties living a rather stale-looking life as best she can.

Along comes this rather brash American (Dustin) and he blows a great hole in her defenses (don’t you think we all build them for various stages in life and then FORGET TO DISMANTLE THEM when the danger is past or the trauma has been lived through?). So what you are watching is a sudden flood of real communication (how rare is that?), the sort of communication that shifts the emotional tectonic plates and provokes seismic movement in the soul.

Again, it’s rare to watch this on the screen because you need to be a little thoughtful and not require explosions of the literal kind to keep you interested. I’d guess that’s a fair description of us.

If you see the picture, and I hope you will because I love it very much and am moved by it every time I see it, you’ll notice I am decidedly unglamorous and at least size 16. (A US size 12) I really wanted to look like a “normal” woman, I mean in terms of body size.

Actresses seem to be getting tinier and tinier and I do wonder how we think we can present really powerful women, matriarchs and the like, when we seem to insist upon having such attenuated physiques.

So Kate is solid – probably worries a bit about her muffin-top (mine is more like a desk-top these days if you must know) but can’t find the energy to worry enough to go to the gym and can’t find the time either.

She’s a real sort of person, someone I could relate to entirely and I hope you enjoy her. If you do, tell your friends because the more we can get films like this well distributed the more films we can make about (for want of a better epithet) real women as opposed to (let’s face it) pretend ones.

Warmest wishes to you all for 2009 from Emma Thompson, a first time blogger at fifty

Don’t you just love her?


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Ugly Deaf Muslim Punk Gurl! January 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM


Joanne January 15, 2009 at 3:57 PM

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie! There just aren’t enough purely entertaining movies like this anymore.

Hazel January 15, 2009 at 5:55 PM

She really is something. I have admired her for years from when she starred in the tv series Tutti Frutti and Fortunes of War and she has just got more tremendous with age.

Thomai January 15, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Love Emma Thompson and I’m going to see this movie.
thnx for haring this Melissa

sarah January 16, 2009 at 8:44 AM

i love this!

Addie January 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Emma Thompson is fearless! (And quite wonderful in this film, I might add.) I do want to clarify something she wrote, though — a U.K. size 16 is about the same as a U.S. 12. And, yes, it *is* so great to see a woman in her late 40s — one who looks true to form — play a romantic lead.

JCK January 16, 2009 at 11:07 AM

I adore her!!!! Such a wit!

Susan January 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

We build our defenses and forget to dismantle them when the danger has past? Brilliantly put, Emma Thompson! I’m printing this out and posting it in my medicine cabinet so I can read it every day.

I actually thought Last Chance Harvey was already in wide release for several weeks, so when I went to check for showtimes last week and found it only playing in New York and California, I was so disappointed, and annoyed with myself for missing another good one. What a relief it was to find out it was opening here today! I am planning my weekend around it!

SolShine7 January 17, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Reading her blog letter makes me really want to see the movie now!!! Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Silverstein January 19, 2009 at 4:17 AM

Thanks Addie for that clarification on the size issue. I will add that to the statement to clarify for people.

Pilar Walsh January 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM

What a wonderful find this blog and the article by Emma Thompson really speaks to me. I wrote a paper for a class in school this year called “Ageism in Film for Women” which put me in touch with Susan Davis and a lot of wonderfully written articles, books, films like “Invisible Women” I know in the next two years there will have to be more films about us for us by us. Thanks Melissa…

jilly Goddard January 25, 2009 at 5:42 AM

I am a skinny women and have always been that way, all my life horrible comments have been past on my size and shape.So to all you larger women out there you are not the only ones with size issues. It seems that bashing the skinny is sadly being used to make the largr women feel better about herself. Women should reconize the negitive part they play when bashing other women about size or looks. It may come as abit of a suprise to know that there are women in the world who hate being skinny and would love to have a bit fat on them. The talk about seeing reaL women on screen as a size 12+ concerns me as this in its self makes size an issue between women, after all arnt size 8-‘s real women too. We as women should be the first to reconize all the wonderful shape,form and personality that we come in. Frankly women at times can be there own worst enemies because they bash each other which is a shame.How women look and are represented in this world is a very serious issue. With the majority of images out there being directed at women or about women its imperative that we pull together for not only are we bombard with these images everyday though tv, newspapers and mags we now have the internet to contened with where images of women or extrem sexist joke can be past at the press of a buttomn. Believe me this is a past time that many men consider to be the norm these days and its alarming how many husands,fathers and granfather are at it,even though they them selves have daughter of similar age to what there looking at on the screen or in the paper and mags. It’s hard these days to get though a day with out seeing an image of a perfect women somewhere and I believe it’s having a damaging effect on many women and young girls. The goal of the media and many a business is to home in on how women feel about them selves, these pictures of perfect women everywhere can be a form of brain washing and drive women and young girls to buy products that they hope will help improve there imperfections.This can include hair, skin, and body products along with plastic surgery which can range from face lifts to contoured pussies. It’s getting way out of hand and women need to see this and fight back, as I say aleast reframe from bashing each other it would be a start. We women are bloody wonderful no matter what form we come in and we should for the sake of our daughters, gran daughters and aging mothers remmeber this. Stop bashing each other ladies because this only feeds the problem. As I am fifty my self soon I am very much looking forward to seeing Emma in this film. Jilly Curtiss, Dubia.

Melissa Silverstein January 26, 2009 at 4:21 AM


You are right women should not trash each other over our sizes. I can only imagine your position. I don’t think that larger women talk trash about skinnier women because they feel bad about themselves, I think it’s because all we see in the media are images of thin women and we want to rebel and scream. Sometimes it becomes too much. Thanks for your comment.

George Edw. Seymour January 27, 2009 at 11:04 AM

I was disheartened to read the comment by Jilly. Not that she doesn’t have a valid point; it’s just that it does not belong here as a counter to what Emma said. There are lots of people with personal issues from religion to politics etc., and they should have their time and place. But those topics are not in keeping with the theme for this blog post which was not offending to anyone. So let me end with a positive note about that great movie with two timeless stars. I saw it and loved it. Thanks for your comment Emma.

xxxxx February 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM

she is my favorit actris. the movie was great i loved it.

Alicia Howard February 10, 2009 at 5:32 PM

Emma Thompson and Meryl Streep have long been my favorite actresses and it has as much to do with their class and confidence as it does their acting ability. Truly first class. I saw Last Chance Harvey more than once and do intend to make it a part of my DVD collection and show it to friends who haven’t seen it because you just seem to relate to the varying plights of separateness or loneliness that both seem to go through during the film. It was awesome to watch…and couldn’t you just listen to Emma talk all day??? As an American “southerner,” I love listening to her wit and wisdom in that gorgeous accent!! Keep these fabulous movies coming!

Judy March 3, 2009 at 3:21 PM

I saw this movie the other day and it was a total delight – and like Emmma said, she was authentic, real as was Dustin Hoffman and what I would call a mature romance – real to life but – sometimes very raw in a way, but never morbid or sentimental. It’s so rare to see a movie like this these days. I wish it was getting more positive publicity than it has.

Melissa Silverstein March 4, 2009 at 10:39 AM

Just keeping talking it up Judy and telling your friends. The better it does the more chances we have to get more films like this. It is simple.

RaiulBaztepo March 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language ;)
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

Paula Harmon April 15, 2009 at 7:52 PM

i loved this movie saw it a few times and I love Emma’s blog she is awesome and has stood up for actresses being told they need to lose weight and im sure she would take up for any actress she felt picked on by producers for beign either skinny or to fat she is an awesome human being and I hope she keeps making movies for a long time I ALWAYS see her movies

Niina April 16, 2009 at 4:11 AM

“defenses (don’t you think we all build them for various stages in life and then FORGET TO DISMANTLE THEM when the danger is past or the trauma has been lived through?”

This is so true. Love her.

Penny Light June 2, 2009 at 4:52 AM

I loved this movie. Emma Thompson draws me to movies because I know her acting will be moving, cerebral and real. I am so glad that I got to see it. I would like to know more about the behind the scenes of the movie as well.

Gislane July 29, 2009 at 9:09 AM

I saw Last Chance Harvey at the launching day. Just because I trust Emma Thompson and Dust Hoffman. It´s quite improbable for them to perform in a filme if them do not believe in the story. I saw almost all her films and I consider her a FANTASTIC professional. So is Dust Hoffman. I´m from Brazil and I really love the Art of the Cinema.

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Emma June 8, 2010 at 9:23 AM

Well you know to be honest I’m a huge British Actress & accent fan!And for me this film just leaped from the screen & right into me! It just touched me so! Emma just made the role so life0like which a ton of atresses and actors can’t or rather let’s just say don’t bother to do that for the film! I take my hat off to Emma It’s an honour to share a name!) What a great film, my rating for it is definetly 5 stars, it’s just a great, chatching film which plays out real life!!!!!!!!!!!

Well done!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roy Taylor September 28, 2010 at 7:03 AM

Full marks to Emma Thompson for have a concern about how people use English. Unfortunately she attacks a point which is superficial compared to the worst of what is happening. The aping of Americanisms such as ‘we just got better’ (as opposed to we’ve just got better), etc. is eroding the very structure of the grammar of British English (potential loss of entire ‘perfect’ form) and other examples, such as using ‘different than’ instead of different from/to. Ultimately, if we let these examples of bad British English grammar pass, then British English will come to be regarded as an inferior, marginal item. Perhaps, American programmes (particularly for children) should be obliged to carry subtitles in British English.

Over to you Emma

pandora uk December 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

You had some nice points here. I done a research on the topic and got most peoples will agree with you

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