I cannot agree more with the first sentence of this Empire article on Emma Thompson:
One of the best things about the Harry Potter franchise is surely the fact that the perfect people have been cast in every role, no matter how much screen time they get.
This is certainly true for the main recurring cast. And I thought Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, flashing a cheesy smile, was absolutely brilliant. In fact, KB has the distinction of uttering what is probably my favorite line in any movie I’ve ever seen: in Henry V, when he’s proposing to Katharine and he asks her “canst thou love me?”. She replies “I cannot tell.” He then says, with perfect ironic tone and a soupcon of an eye roll, “canst any of thy neighbours tell, Kate?” Absolute comic brilliance. And BTW, he delivered it exactly as Shakespeare wrote it, although it sounds like modern 21st century sarcasm to my ear!
So after reading Prisoner of Azkaban, I absolutely fell off my chair laughing when I found out that Emma Thompson was going to play the vague, wispy Divination professor Sybil Trelawney (BTW, love the reference to the classical Greek in her name!). Superb casting. I adore Emma Thompson, have never disliked anything I’ve seen her in. Even Carrington, which was a deeply flawed movie because the director told the story in the most uncompelling way possible but had Thompson give a very good performance. Her Sense and Sensibility screenplay and acting as Elinor Dashwood would have made Jane Austen happy, I like to think.
Then recently we were watching Maybe Baby, a movie starring another one of my faves, Hugh Laurie, and who should be starring as a crystal-sporting, chakra-feeding, aura cleansing earth mama with dreadlocks named Druscilla? Emma Thompson! As soon as we saw her with her flowy muumuu we knew, knew that the HP folks had to have seen her in this role and thought “Sybil, yes!”
Boy, I can’t wait for June 4 …