A few weeks ago, the heartfelt comedy The Five Year Engagement opened in theaters nationwide, showing off the comedic prowess of Emily Blunt that has been laying dormant for entirely too long. Although since the film wasn't as well received as expected (though I enjoyed it thoroughly), you may find yourself wishing to refresh with some better Blunt films. Here are our recommendations for where to find the best of the British actress.
My Summer Of Love
In her first major film role, 20 year old Blunt plays Tamsin, a privileged young girl home from boarding school for the summer who takes an interest in Mona, a girl of a much lower class who is easily taken in by the beautiful, manipulative rich girl. They have a love affair over the summer that ends up meaning very different things to each girl. This quiet, moody piece won tons of Awards in its year, most notably Best British Film at the BAFTAs. Blunt wasn't discovered until eight months into the casting process, but thank goodness director Pawel Pawlikowski found her and put her on the big screen where she belongs. Blunt is captivating in the role, bringing intelligence, maturity, and emotional depth to an unstable character whom in lesser hands may have fallen flat and been all too transparent. Even if highly acclaimed British art house film isn't your thing, Emily Blunt giving such a powerful, seductive performance is reason enough alone to pop this on Netflix Instant.
The Devil Wears Prada
A mere two years later, Blunt broke out in the US with her scene stealing role as Emily in The Devil Wears Prada. Not only is the movie itself hilarious and falls into instant classic territory if you believe in that sort of thing, but Blunt proved herself a master of comedy in what for all US audiences knew, was her first role ever. We were all so collectively impressed, her stardom immediately became inevitable, as she won Best Female Scene Stealer from EW, presented an award at the Oscars and began receiving major film offers left and right.
The third film on the list in which Blunt's scenes are primary with another woman, which is all kinds of awesome, Sunshine Cleaning tells the story of two sisters (the other played by Amy Adams) who start a business cleaning up after crime scenes. While the movie is less than perfect, its quirky sentimentalism works for me, and the whole shebang is elevated by fantastic performances from Blunt and Adams.
The Young Victoria
I movie I rather unexpectedly fell in love with in 2009, although considering it was written by Julian Fellowes, it shouldn't have come as *that* much of a shock, The Young Victoria tracks the early life and reign of Queen Victoria and her love story with Prince Albert. Here, Blunt uses her regal sensibilities to their fullest extent, revisiting many traits explored in My Summer Of Love, but this time grounded with a genuine nobility.
The Adjustment Bureau
MAN am I a fan of this movie. Blunt stars alongside Matt Damon as star crossed lovers fighting against the universe trying to keep them apart. This film features one of the best meet-cutes ever captured on screen wherein their characters' cosmic connection becomes undeniable as they hurdle towards their first worlds-exploding (perhaps literally!) kiss. The message that a strong enough love is able to overcome the rules of time and space itself could warm the heart of even your deepest cynic. On top of the excellent romantic elements, this Philip K. Dick adaptation is solid science fiction, thereby combining two of my favorite genres on TOP of featuring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in starring roles and John Slattery supporting. Like The Young Victoria and later The Five-Year Engagement, The Adjustment Bureau shows off Blunt's great taste in love stories.
Honorable Mentions to a film I loved that no one else did, Dan in Real Life and the bittersweet The Great Buck Howard, both of which feature Blunt in smaller, supporting roles.
But let's not forget that even in her worst (Wild Target, The Wolfman) Blunt is consistency fantastic. I'd be surprised to ever see a sub-par performance from her, which is partly why I suggest catching The Five-Year Engagement, despite the mediocre reviews. If you're an Emily Blunt fun, there's really no debate.
Note: I haven't seen Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, but I really really want to, especially considering Blunt's romantic film track record. I also haven't seen Gulliver's Travels but don't plan on ever changing that.
Blunt can next be seen in Looper, the original science fiction film from Rian Johnson co-starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis, opening this summer.