Well, Chim-Chim-Cheree! December is here, the movies are here, so that means another RetroLight Award needs to be doled out for a very deserving actor or actress.
If you’re new to the Matrix, here’s an explanation from our very first RetroLight Award:
We will look at the month in review — or go “RETRO” — and discern why he or she has earned the award. But because the news to win the month isn’t enough, the person deserves a spotLIGHT of their career achievements. And you know we have the voices to fill those reviews.
There you have it: Our own awards. Now on with the show with who won…
An extremely versatile talent who seemed destined to grace the Silver Screen actually didn’t believe she would ever make it. When you hear Emily talk, regardless of her role, it’s almost relaxing. She classes up the place but it wasn’t always that way. At the age of eight, she had a pretty strong stammer in her speech. When she was 12, a vocal coach had an idea — be someone with a different accent. She did and her stammer was gone.
Then, her acting chops appeared. And the BBC noticed. She quickly rose to stardom in a series of period pieces even starring with Dame Judi Dench. In 2006, America took notice of her talent in a movie called Irresistible where she starred with Sam Neill and Susan Sarandon. From there, the star became a nova. And now, we’re here.
So, if someone knows the stunning actress (that includes visually speaking) or maybe her beau, John Krasinski, let her know she won this. Without further ado, the six bewildering Emily Blunt performances to earn this most prestigious award for her mantle:
This film is criminally underrated. Rant over.
Now that I’ve said that, Looper, like Inception, is a concept so original that it actually requires some thinking on behalf of the audience to fully grasp what’s going on. It has it all — time travel, conspiracy, action galore, and a pissed-off Bruce Willis ready to kill some children. Right there in the thick of it all is Blunt’s Sara.
Sara is the limited mother of Cid (the kid that good ol’ Bruce is after), who was dumped on Sara’s sister because she wasn’t ready to raise a child. Then, Sara’s sister passes away forcing Blunt’s character take up her motherly responsibilities. Cid feels like Sara abandoned him, which is the basis for Sara’s character arc throughout the film as she must prove to her son that she really does love him. This dynamic is heartbreaking to say the least.
Blunt is absolutely phenomenal and delivers a densely layered performance in this role. Her portrayal of Sara is the emotional core of the entire film. Through Blunt’s performance, you can feel the amount of regret and self loathing Sara has bottled up inside for abandoning her son for selfish reasons. The emotional scenes in the film where Blunt drops Sara’s “fuck off” attitude and allows the audience to break through her tough exterior are very powerful.
Sara is emotionally vulnerable in this film, which really allows the audience to connect and relate to her struggles through Blunt’s brilliant performance. Blunt more than holds her own across screen from the legendary Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Some, like me, would argue that Blunt is the real star of the film.
Review by: Chad Hirsch (@ChaddyDaddy_19)
The Devil Wears Prada
Emily’s rather small but vital performance in The Devil Wears Prada was her breakout showing in film, set to be just the beginning of her rocket to stardom into an A-Lister.
Taking into account what brought her to U.S. screens, we all learned how diverse she was in acting. Emily Blunt plays snooty with confidence, as we saw when she first appears in the movie. She can also illustrate a beautiful vulnerability and humanity, especially in her evolving relationship with Andy (Anne Hathaway) by film’s end.
A rather newbie to making movies in 2006, Emily held her own when compared to the absolutely brilliant performance by Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, who was Oscar-nominated for the role. Another up-and-comer Anne Hathaway was a demonstrative force in this film, which also gave Emily something to connect with among all fans.
Following the release of the movie, Emily won many award nominations for her portrayal as the crabby assistant, including a Golden Globe & BAFTA for an actress in a supporting role. This was the beginning of something great for all movie fans.
Review by: Todd Proctor (@SuperheroPoll)
Edge of Tomorrow
By the time the incredibly underrated Edge of Tomorrow graced the big screen, Emily’s metaphoric rise as a true superstar was already a given. We knew what to expect when we saw her co-starring with Tom Cruise — she was going to own this.
She plays badass Rita “Rose” Vrataski, a legendary U.S. Defense Force soldier. Adding to her reputation in the film, Vrataski is the ultimate hero from the Battle of Verdun, known to have killed hundreds of the pesky, time-altering, dimension-jumping aliens called mimics. She’s both convincing on the battlefield, as well as portraying this role on the big screen.
Emily got buff–like beautiful, strong, and kick-ass buff. Who knew it would lead to her most famous gif? Who knew doing push-ups could look so good? In case you forgot, you’re welcome…
Her chemistry with the action movie star, arguably of our generation, Tom Cruise, is incredible. Their instant chemistry carries this film to even loftier heights, which goes to validate how woefully underrated this movie is these days.
Now, all we need is more Emily in this classic Sci-Fi franchise’s prequel and sequels! (Marvel and D.C., we’re talking to you.)
Review by: Todd Proctor (@SuperheroPoll)
The Girl on the Train
In this Paula Hawkins book adaptation of The Girl on the Train, Emily Blunt plays the boozy, flummoxed Rachel who is at the epicenter of a trio of women (all narrating in this movie, confusing as that can be) who all have the same problem — living the life they have created for the world to see, only isn’t real. Consider this the point-of-view if Facebook was a director and this was his or her film.
While the book was far better than the movie gave it credit, the script is committed and Emily Blunt, being the powerhouse she is, takes this tale all the way to the end. A woman who spends her life going to work and back on this train, spends countless hours gazing through the window of the life she could have with a man–now with a woman he knocked up–experience buzzing right by. The scenes of her losing consciousness through the window is a microcosm of her life. Only, it was also depicting the lives of others in the movie too.
Pining away at her vodka as much as her imagination, Rachel acts as that window as we get to peer into the lives of those she fantasizes daily. The script is something that Blunt easily weaves in and out of what we see with relative ease. If only her co-narrators could do the same. What she sees, we see. What she thinks, we think. And then what she does, well, we all wanted to happen. Just not so ham-handedly. Good script. Great actress. Not so much on the movie.
Review by: SPW (@WriteOnGeek)
A Quiet Place
Easily, A Quiet Place was the most surprising breakout film of 2018, which masterfully blends family drama, suspense, and horror — all while barely making a sound.
The story focuses on a family of four as they attempt to survive in a world overrun by vicious alien creatures. The creatures themselves are blind but their other senses, specifically hearing, are heightened to extreme levels, which means silence is your best chance for survival.
Blunt plays the family matriarch, Evelyn, who is a very fascinating character. She’s a mother trying to bring joy to her children’s world despite living in a brutal and terrifying world. To make things more difficult, Evelyn, and her husband Lee (played by real life hubby John Krasinski), have already lost one kid to the monsters and are now expecting another child.
Blunt is fantastic. With barely any speaking lines at all throughout the entirety of the film, she still manages to deliver one of the best performances of the year from any lead actress. The audience feels the pain Evelyn experiences after losing one of her children, thanks to a powerful performance by Blunt. Her sense of anxiety. Her doubts about bringing another child into this world. Her intense desire to protect her family.
In a film short on words, the actions of the characters must do the majority of the speaking and boy, do the actions in this film speak volumes. Blunt’s is able to convey perfectly everything she thinks, feels, and understands through her facial expressions and body language with an almost effortless precision. Her performance provided the emotional weight of the film and without it, I’m not sure the movie would have been as critically successful as it was.
Review by: Chad Hirsch (@ChaddyDaddy_19)
Sicario is a very gritty and dark adventure that outlines the war against the Mexican drug cartel. Emily Blunt plays Kate Macer, a novice FBI agent who had success in her short career but gets recruited by this government faction leading the war on drugs.
Before accepting the offer, little does she know that this group doesn’t play by the rules and does things that she couldn’t fathom. This internal struggle causes tension and a war between the characters on how to deal with the situation. Throughout the movie, Emily Blunt’s character is kept in the dark and doesn’t fully know the mission.
In Sicario, Emily Blunt shows how great of an actress she really is. She’s thrown is many tough situations and brings out her character like never before. Emily Blunt does a phenomenal job of executing her role as Kate in this film. Her performance makes you empathize for her character and care about her, and that’s what every good actress should do… make you care.
That’s what Emily Blunt does so well in this film. All of her lines hit, her dialogue is great, and her character progressively gets stronger as the film goes on. She also displays some of the best face acting I have ever seen from an actress. When the movie starts, Kate is a rookie that hasn’t seen much, but by the end of the film she has seen true horrors and the dark side of the government that she wholeheartedly loves.
This is a very tense movie with a great switch on point-of-view at the end of the film, from Emily Blunt to Benicio Del Toro, which is a genius screenplay move. It sums up that the story was never about Emily Blunt’s character, she just made it possible by legitimizing the operation. It was always about Benicio Del Toro’s character and it was a great twist in the end! Emily Blunt made that happen.