The Best and Worst of Emma Watson
Emma Watson started out as young Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films and grew into an intelligent and talented young woman. She's even become one of the United Nations' Goodwill Ambassadors. But even she has trouble on-screen sometimes. Below, I have listed the top 5 best and the top 5 worst of Emma's films. As usual there is a complete filmography included with my ratings of each film.
Best #1: Colonia
Colonia is one of those films that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy in the beginning, then rips that to shreds almost immediately. It's a story of survival, escape, and ultimately a story of love's lengths, meaning, how far would one go for another?
The film is set in 1973, during the Chilean military coup. Lena and her boyfriend Daniel witness the military beating a civilian. Daniel approaches, taking pictures. President Allende's army chief Pinoche has military capture Daniel, hauling him away to Colonia Dignidad. Lena decides to go undercover there in order to find him. What she finds out, though, is beyond deplorable.
The film shows some but not all of the harsh realities of what Colonia Dignidad was really like. Led by Paul Schäfer, the colony was more like a cult within a secluded prison. Paul tortured and brainwashed his prisoners until they became his loyal followers. He would regularly sexually abuse children and violently abuse women. He believed women were below men and that they should be the ones to work all day and serve men in whatever manner the men see fit. Paul would hold meetings, allowing his men followers to gang up on and beat a woman if the woman had done something wrong.
Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl, and Michael Nyqvist all performed fantastically well. They were all convincing and took their roles to the extremes when necessary. Director Florian Gallenberger did an amazing job writing and directing this film. He had a good vision to know just what was enough to show and what should be left out.
In conclusion, I do need to state that Emma and Daniel's characters were fictionalized in order to tell a true story. There really were survivors of the camp, but very few. The fact of the matter is, a film could be made about Colonia that's unrated and still not be able to grasp the horrors that occurred within the electrified fence walls of Colonia Dignidad. This was a truly evil man that did truly evil things and most people aren't even aware this place really existed and these things really happened. I'm sure somewhere in the world, there are places like Colonia Dignidad that still exist and they may be even worse than this one was. Isn't it our job to expose the truth and get these places shut down and the despicable people running them behind bars where they can't hurt any more innocent people? This is the very reason why I admire Emma Watson. She truly cares for people and wants us to see what happened in the past so we in the present can course-correct and change the future. 4 out of 4.
Best #2: Little Women
Little Women is a rather hard film to review, not because there's anything wrong with it, but because it's the perfect film. It's a tale that's been essential to women for 151 years and will still be essential long after we're all gone.
The film follows the March family - mother Marmee and four sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy - as they try to navigate through the struggles of life and love in a time when women had very few opportunities or choices.
The most impressive element of the film was keeping alive the relatability of the characters. Each one may have had their own aspirations but most of all they just wanted their family to be provided for. They wanted the best for each other, no matter what obstacles they faced. Deep down, isn't that what all good-hearted people want?
The acting was outstanding. Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh were absolutely magnificent in their roles of Jo and Amy respectively. Saoirse and Florence had a chemistry that exceeded the other performers, almost creating a story within a story. Emma Watson gave the second-best performance of her career, practically radiating Meg straight off the pages of Alcott's book.
The costume design, scenery, and set designs were gorgeous and easily transported you back in time to the Civil War era when the story takes place. I loved the use of the differing color palettes separating the flashbacks from the main story.
In conclusion, sorry for the short review but there's really not much I can say besides I loved everything about the film. Sure, there were some parts that strayed from the book but there's only so much one can cover in two hours time. Director Greta Gerwig made one amazing film that anyone who loves period pieces will enjoy. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
Best #3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I'm a casual Harry Potter fan, meaning I enjoy the books and films but it's not an obsession of mine; however, I fell in love with this particular film and love it the most out of all the Harry Potter films. Its story is full of heart and humor, but what drew me in the most was the idea of time travel.
Hermione (Emma Watson) had been using a Time Turner in order to be able to take all her necessary courses. She would go to one class, the use the Time Turner to be in another class at the same time. The Time Turner came in handy later on when she and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) had to go back in time to save Harry's uncle Sirius Black.
It's a remarkably well-done and well thought out film. I give it a total of 4 out of 4.
Best #4: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
I know it's a bit cliché to say that the last film of a series is one of the best, but in this case, it's true. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 went full-force into the final battle, delivering all the great fights, the most amazing moments, and the heaviest emotional hits. I give the film 4 out of 4.
Best #5: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a film that almost anyone can relate to. Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, is a teen dealing with a lot of issues. He's a bit of a loner and just wants to belong. So two seniors decide to help him and usher him into the real world. Patrick, played by Ezra Miller, and Sam, played by Emma Watson, show Charlie the true meaning of friendship and just what it means to truly belong.
The film is so realistic and full of such raw emotion that anyone dealing with or has dealt with the issues that Charlie is will sympathize and understand what he's going through. Everyone has wanted to feel wanted at one point or another so perhaps this film could be helpful to those out there still searching for peace.
I give the film a 4 out of 4.
The "Worst" section has some real stinkers and it has some that just weren't as good as others. Every actor has their bad films and Emma is no exception. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 worst Emma Watson films.
Worst #1: Noah
You ever hear someone get angry because a movie didn't follow the book or story it was based on? Usually I can give a little leeway but in this case, the film took too much liberty and drifted away from the actual story of Noah, making the final film an absolute mess. Facts were left out, changed, and inserted. Mind you, there were some parts that were interesting and made sense but then there were parts that were absolutely atrocious and ridiculous. I hoped for better, but sadly it wasn't delivered. I give the film a total of 1.5 out of 4.
Worst #2: The Bling Ring
Sometimes films just work better as short films. This is one of those times. The Bling Ring is the true story of a group of teens that use the internet to track celebrities locations and, assuming the celeb is gone, they then rob their houses. The film was on the right track, but for an hour and a half film, it felt like it was far too long for what it was. Perhaps it would have been better as a short film? Maybe it would have been better under different direction? Maybe it could have been written better? There's so many different things that could have caused it to not succeed. We may never know for sure. I give the film a 1.5 out of 4.
Worst #3: Regression
Regression had a lot of promise, but lost steam around the midpoint. It told the story of Angela Gray, played by Emma Watson, a young woman who had accused her father of sexually assaulting her. Her father didn't remember the event, or even doing it, but he plead guilty anyway to protect others from himself. The case was being investigated by Bruce Kenner, played by Ethan Hawke. Bruce brought in a psychologist, who suggested "Regression" Therapy. This led to the father remembering certain things which involved a Satanic cult.
The film started strong and at times was pretty creepy. But, after the midpoint, the film sank into predictability and ultimately fell flat on its face. Emma and Ethan's performances were strong, but the writers seriously needed help. I give the film a 2 out of 4.
Worst #4: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One
Whenever I used to watch a long and repetitive film with my grandfather, he used to say "That's a long time to do the same thing over and over again." That's exactly how I felt about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One. It was basically just one long set-up for the big finale. The story was decent and the performances were well-done, but it felt too drawn out, like it didn't really accomplish much. I give the film a 2 out of 4.
Worst #5: The Circle
The Circle is a film that is almost prophetic in its ideas for technological advances. The film raises so many important questions that affect modern daily life, but the most important question of all is: how far is too far? We all have a right to privacy, but would the world actually be a better place if everyone and everything was out in the open, if everyone could be seen at all times, if no act was hidden?
The Circle follows Mae, played by Emma Watson, who is a customer service agent that is fed up with her job. She deals with angry people all day and so badly wants a change. She's about to get more than she bargained for when her friend Annie, played by Karen Gillan, calls her up and tells her that she has been scheduled for an interview at a company known as The Circle which is run by Stenton and Bailey, played by Patton Oswalt and Tom Hanks respectively. But is this company's intentions as pure as they claim?
The film itself is a bit disappointing. It had so much potential but misses its mark by far. The film's biggest problem is the acting. Ellar Coltrane, who was the star of the critically acclaimed Boyhood, was the worst part of the film. His acting was wooden, dull, and lifeless. Even Emma Watson, who is usually a terrific actress, seemed like she'd rather be anywhere else but on set. Really no one in the film had a standout performance.
The other problem that the film had was that it spent way too much time on unnecessary information and way too little time on story progression, which ultimately caused the ending to fail when it should have delivered a much bigger punch.
For all of its great ideas and frightfully astounding questions, The Circle was ultimately a missed opportunity. What could have been a truly horrifying paranoia-inducing whirlwind of a film felt more like a mild rainstorm that ended as quick as it began. I give the film a 2 out of 4.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - 3.5 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 3.5 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 4 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 4 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - 2.5 out of 4
- Ballet Shoes - 3 out of 4
- The Tale of Despereaux - 3 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 3 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One - 2 out of 4
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two - 4 out of 4
- My Week with Marilyn - 3.5 out of 4
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower - 4 out of 4
- The Bling Ring - 1.5 out of 4
- Noah - 1.5 out of 4
- Regression - 2 out of 4
- Colonia - 4 out of 4
- The Circle - 2 out of 4
- Beauty and the Beast - 3.5 out of 4
- Little Women - 4 out of 4
*Note: I did not include This Is the End because Emma only had a small cameo in the film.
What's your favorite Emma Watson film?
Emma Watson has come a long way from her small beginnings as a young girl whose biggest dream was snatching the role of Hermione Granger. She's now graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor's in English literature and became a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations. I look forward to seeing just how high this girl can reach. For now, she seems to be limitless.
Questions & Answers
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© 2016 Nathan Jasper