I think Richard Eyre is right when he says that no other actors in the world could play dramatic roles the way Emma does it.
Please, take a look at the scene which is the core of the whole movie “The children act”. Emma (Fiona Maye) is reached by the young man who has fallen in love with her and is stalking her. The boy almost makes a monologue and she listens to him, while the director squeezes on her face with a powerful close-up. No other actor do this so well. No one could convey so many different moods in a five minutes scene.
They both feel a swirl of emotions but he shows them with the ardor of a teenager, she tries to keep emotions at bay using rationality instead. Emma speaks with her eyes, all is written on her face: at first she feels concern and shows disappointment, then turmoil and embarrassment, finally tenderness and almost love mixed with sadness because she must send him off.
I really think she is a genius! She thrills the audience, that’s the greatness of an actor! She is always in touch with her soul and this makes her so distinctive and unique.
It’s fascinating to watch Emma when she is not speaking.
Everything that happens around her, affects her intensely and you can read it on her face, as if what she sees and what she hears struck her face, sometimes softly sometimes harshly.
“The way you have of listening, of thinking, I watched you thinking”
This is a quote from the film, which Adam (Fionn Whitehead) pronounces referring to Fiona (Emma Thompson) listening to him.
This clearly explains what it feels like in front of such a good performer!
When she gives life to a character, it’s not hers anymore but this character becomes like a real person with a life of its own that belongs to the audience, giving the viewer the chance to possess it and make it live and act each time the viewer wants, again and again.
I can enjoy Emma’s smile whenever I want, all I have to do is press a botton and start the movie and the game is done!
She plays for me, I can enjoy the depth of her gaze, the sweetness of her smile, the sound of her voice. I can do it hundreds of times by rewinding the scene. This is so great, it’s a miracle!