Posts Tagged ‘Emma Thompson’

My Fair Ludwig

Posted in General on August 10th, 2010 by Eugene Finerman – 5 Comments

Audrey Hepburn ‘couldn’t sing and couldn’t act’, says Emma Thompson

She is regarded as one of the Hollywood greats. But Audrey Hepburn couldn’t act, couldn’t sing and was “fantastically twee”, according to Emma Thompson.

 “Twee is whimsy without wit. It’s mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that’s not for me. She can’t sing and she can’t really act, I’m afraid. I’m sure she was a delightful woman – and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don’t and I didn’t, so that’s all there is to it, really.”
         Reminded that Miss Hepburn had died in 1993, Miss Thompson said, “That spares me the trouble of beating her to death.”  Noting some reporters’ shock, Miss Thompson graciously amended, “I hope she is not burning in Hell.”
        Of course, Thompson conceded that she really was the most talented person to play Eliza Doolittle.  Praising her glorious singing voice, Thompson distributed copies of her recent album “Emma Improves Maria Callas.”  The challenge for Miss Thompson was that she also is the most talented person to play Henry Higgins.  “I really should perform both roles.  The audience deserves no less, and it adds a level of profundity to the play, an insightful brilliance into the psychological and sexual dichotomy of the British Empire.”
        Dismissing Shaw’s original play as “twee, duckywucky, hoitytoity and giddy-kipper”, Thompson explained her improvements to the story.  “A cockney flower girl becomes a lady?  Is that all?  My story begins at Cambridge with young Ludwig Wittgenstein, going to London disguised as a cockney flower girl.  There he gets picked up by Henry Higgins and who, in their bondage relationship, indoctrinates Ludwig into being a proper English lady.  You can see the complications are brilliant and hilarious.  It is what Shaw would have done if he had been intelligent enough for Cambridge.” 
           Her script ends with Henry Higgins, Colonel Pickering and Freddie Eynsford-Hill being machine-gunned by Ludwig at the Somme.  “Don’t you love the irony!” exclaimed Miss Thompson.  “The play ends the same way the Empire did.”

My Fair Laddie

Posted in General on July 28th, 2008 by Eugene Finerman – 4 Comments


The British actress will write the screenplay for a remake of “My Fair Lady.” The new version will draw on additional material from “Pygmalion.” New York Times

“My Fair Lady” is merely a masterpiece, the wonderful synthesis of Shaw’s wit and a glorious musical score. Has there ever been a better musical? But I am sure that Emma Thompson can improve it. And when will she be repainting the Sistine Chapel?

Couldn’t she be content to “improve” Shaw’s lesser works? No one would mind her writing a screenplay for “Captain Brassbound’s Confession”. Better yet, she could venture into originality. The world is ready for a new Gidget movie…Moon Doggie gets a surfing scholarship to Cambridge. Gidget follows him there, and finds herself being wooed by both Bertrand Russell and Virginia Woolf. …Yes, Ms. Thompson can even cast herself as Gidget. Just leave “My Fair Lady” alone.

Of course, that hope is futile because I can predict Ms. Thompson’s real goal. She intends to play Professor Higgins. I suppose you could rationalize a gender-reversed perspective. Emma Thompson did go to Cambridge where that sort-of-thing is part of the curriculum. So, her Henry Higgins picks up Eliza Doolittle(Colin Farrell) and attempts to teach intelligible English to the urchin. (I only wish someone tried that in real life with Farrell.) In this “My Fair Lady”, you could cast Maggie Smith as Colonel Pickering, Keira Knightley as Freddie Eynsford-Hill, Helen Mirren as Alfred Doolittle and Charlotte Rampling as Edward VII.

I will be rooting for Kaiser Wilhelm (Uma Thurman) to kill off half of the characters in this travesty. In reality, that would have happened. Did you think that Freddie or Colonel Pickering would still be alive by 1919?