Emma Thompson has been all over the news lately. At the beginning of the month, she launched a website for an upcoming coffee table book called My Safe Place, which features strong women talking about their safe places. Now, as she accepts a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, she's got the internet buzzing over her distaste of Audrey Hepburn and My Fair Lady.

Personally, I don't mind. To each their own, and Thompson has certainly proven her acting chops, so this isn't like J-Lo chastising Gwyneth Paltrow, Winona Ryder, Madonna, and Cameron Diaz in a talk with Movieline all those years ago. Thinking about her acting chops, and her plan to take a sabbatical next year, I couldn't help but think of Thompson's cinematic roles, and inevitably, my favorite.

It's a little film called Stranger Than Fiction, and in honor of her star being added to the Walk, I thought we could gush over her writerly stint as Karen Eiffel.
From beginning to end I loved Thompson's Eiffel. She's a plagued writer who doesn't just smoke, drink coffees, and muse from cafes. She insists on experiencing the environment she will write about, not just creating it out of the ether; she sits in the rain, imagining a car accident; she stands on a ledge, feeling the wind and imagining a suicide. Eiffel is wonderfully manic and strange, yet somehow very simple and honest -- no doubt a result of Thompson's own acting talents. [Some spoilers to follow.]

But her best scene is when she realizes that her protagonist, Harold Crick, is alive -- that he's a real, living, and breathing man. The phone rings as she types that he is at the phone. She pauses, sure it's nothing more than coincidence. So she writes it again, and once again it rings once, before resting silently. She bites her lip, and writes that it rings a third time, pausing before typing in the period and realizing that her words are coming to life. Thompson lets out a wonderful swarm of emotions at the discovery -- wide-eyed excitement, hyperventilating fear, and then all-out astonishment and curiosity when she comes face to face with Crick. It's a ludicrous and utterly fictional scenario, but with Thompson, it seems like it just might be possible.