For 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?