Miriam Margolyes is a known British-Australian actress who popularly played the role of Professor Sprout in the film series of our beloved wizard Harry Potter. She spectacularly worked in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Italy and has worked with the United Kingdom and Australian production companies. Presently she has been an Australian citizen since 2013. Miriam Margolyes is rewarded with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to various top movies, plays, and television series.
Born on 18 May 1941 in Oxford, Margolyes started her career as an actor in her 20s. Besides acting, she has been a brilliant voice actor and worked as a voice actress for female characters in Monkey, a dubbed Japanese action TV series. She debuted majorly with 1977’s movie Stand Up, Virgin Soldiers as Elephant Ethel. Margolyes won multiple awards, including the British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Age of Innocence (1993). She recently worked in Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020). This article will revisit some important top 10 movies of Miriam Margolyes. So let’s begin.
István Szabó’s Sunshine is a 1999 fictional historical drama film. It’s a story of five generations of a Hungarian Jewish family from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century.
Ralph Fiennes is the main protagonist for three generations as Ignatz Sonnenschein (Sors), Adam Sors, and Ivan Sors. Rachel Weisz as Greta Sors and John Neville as senior Gustave Sors are the on-screen couple. The real-life daughter and mother, Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris, are also in the film across all decades.
A Hungarian-Jewish Ignatz Sonnenschein is the trader of a tonic named Taste of Sunshine. His son Emmanuel commercializes it, bringing abundance to the family. His son Ignatz, a law student, falls for his photographer cousin Valerie. Ignatz graduates and becomes a respected district judge after changing his Jewish surname to Hungarian Sors along with his communist physician brother Gustave.
However, despite their parents’ disapproval, Ignatz and Valerie marry and have two sons- Adam (married to Hannah) and Istvan(who marries Greta). The film then proceeds with the struggles of this family and its generations through world war I and its aftermath revolving around them. Adam’s son, Ivan, is the narrator of this movie, who is Sonnenschein once again.
Miriam Margolyes has a brief role as Rose Sonnenschein, Emmanuel’s wife and Ignatz’s mother.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Baz Luhrmann-made Romeo + Juliet is a modernized adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragic play Romeo and Juliet. The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo) and Claire Danes (Juliet), whose death reconciles their feuding families. The film was released on November 1, 1996, and grossed over $147 million against its $14.5 million budget.
The cast is divided between the Capulets (Juliet’s family) and Montagues (Romeo’s family), the long business rivals. The Capulets include Juliet’s father, Fulgencio (Paul Sorvino), mother Gloria (Diane Venora), cousin Tybalt (John Leguizamo), and nanny (Miriam Margolyes).
The Montagues include Romeo’s father (Brian Dennehy), mother Caroline (Christina Pickles ), and cousins Benvolio (Dash Mihok) and Balthasar (Jesse Bradford). Others include his best friend Mercutio (Harold Perrineau) and Father Laurence (Pete Postlethwaite).
The story begins with Romeo and his brother Benvolio gate-crashing a Capulet party to follow his crush, Rosaline. But, Romeo sees Juliet (a Capulet), and the two instantly fall in love. The budding couple secretly marries in church, with Juliet’s nanny being the only witness. However, Tybalt encounters Mercutio and Romeo at the beach, kills Mercutio, and gets killed by Romeo in return.
Knowing this, Captain Prince (police), banishes Romeo. Juliet’s marriage is announced to Dave Paris. She seeks Father Laurence’s help and fakes her death. Unaware of the plan, Romeo buys poison and consumes it near her (fake)corpse. He dies while Juliet gains consciousness (but it’s too late). So, she shoots herself in the head, ending their chapter. In the Captain’s words, “all are punished!”.
Ladies in Lavender (2004)
Charles Dance’s creation, Ladies in Lavender, is a British drama film based on William J. Locke’s short story in 1908. It stars four ladies- Judi Dench as Ursula Widdington, Maggie Smith as Janet Widdington, Natascha McElhone as Olga Danilof, and Miriam Margolyes as Dorcas- in the lead, alongwith Daniel Brühl as Andrea Marowski.
Set in picturesque coastal Cornwall, the movie revolves around a drama created by a love triangle between Andrea, Olga, and Ursula. Ursula has a crush on a young violinist Andrea, who came washed by the sea below her house.
Hearing about him, another aspiring violinist, Olga Danilof, the sister of famed violinist Boris Danilof, shows her interest in him. She writes a letter to the Widdington sisters, Janet and Ursula, about her interest which Janet destroys.
However, Olga and Andrea still grow closer and leave for London to build a career. But, Andrea cares for the sisters and sends them a thanking letter later. Finally, the sisters attend Andrea’s first public performance in Britain.
Simon Wells-directed Balto is an American live-action/animated adventure film released on December 22, 1995. It was also followed by two sequels, Balto II: Wolf Quest (2002) and Balto III: Wings of Change (2005).
It stars Kevin Bacon as Balto-the wolfdog, Bridget Fonda as Balto’s love interest, Jenna, Jim Cummings as Steele, Phil Collins as Muk and Luk, the polar bears, and Bob Hoskins as Balto’s caretaker, Boris Goosinov.
Miriam Margolyes plays old Rosy, Jenna’s owner, (Juliette Brewer as young Rosy) in the live-action sequences narrating her story to her granddaughter.
Balto is partially a true story of a dog that helped diphtheria-infected children in the 1925 serum run to Nome. Fathered by a Russian-accented snow goose, Boris, Balto lives with Muk and Luk. He wants to be a sled dog but is often bullied by his competition, Steele.
The movie covers the harshes while getting the much-needed antitoxin for Rosy. The film is all about love, optimism, and the unsaid love and bond shared by Human beings and dogs. In the end, the woman narrator reveals to her granddaughter that she is Rosy, Jenna’s owner.
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The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017)
Bharat Nalluri directed this 2017 Christmas biographical comedy-drama film which Susan Coyne wrote. Les Standiford’s book of the same name was its inspiration. The book is based on Charles Dickens writing his novella A Christmas Carol (1843).
The movie stars Dan Stevens (as Charles Dickens), Christopher Plummer (as Ebenezer Scrooge), and Jonathan Pryce (John Dickens, Charles’s father). Miriam Margolyes plays Mrs. Fisk in the film.
The story covers Dickens’ financial crunch of 1843, four years hence his Oliver Twist’s success. His last three books failed to attract readers, and he plans to work on his new book to mend his finances.
A largely unattended rich man’s funeral in London inspires him to write his novel A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge is his novel’s protagonist, along with Tiny Tim. He is helped in this by his maid Tara.
Charles’ bitter relationship with his father, John Dickens, his childhood trauma, and his rage over Tara spice up his novel that becomes an overnight success. And the reunited Dickens family celebrates their Christmas holiday in peace.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Frank Oz’s Little Shop of Horrors, an American horror-comedy musical film, is an adaptation of the 1982 off-Broadway musical with the same name (an adaptation of Roger Corman’s 1960 film Little Shop of Horrors).
The movie stars Rick Moranis (as florist Seymour Krelborn), Ellen Greene (as Audrey, Rick’s coworker), Vincent Gardenia (as Mr. Mushnik, Flower Shop’s owner), Steve Martin (as Orin Scrivello, boyfriend of Audrey), and Levi Stubbs (voice of Audrey II, the evil human blood-sucking plant). Miriam Margolyes is a Dental Nurse in Orin’s dental clinic.
Little Shop of Horrors centers on an extraterrestrial fly-trap-like plant that feeds on human blood. Mushnik’s Flower Shop worker Seymour introduces an unusual plant, Audrey II, which he bought from a Chinese flower shop during a solar eclipse.
Its magic begins to prosper shop. But accidentally, Seymour discovers Audrey II needs human blood to grow. Hence he feeds his coworker Audrey’s abusive boyfriend Orin, which Munshik witnesses unknowingly. However, the plant swallows him while confronting Seymour. Scared by its destructive potential and knowing that Audrey II is an alien, Seymour plans to destroy it. He marries Audrey after disposing of the plant.
Conclusively, Audrey II’s bud smiles in his new home’s garden, ending the film in ambiguity. A 23-minute finale was released later in which Audrey-II is victoriously ruling the planet after eating Audrey and Seymour.
The Age of Innocence (1993)
Martin Scorsese-directed Age of Innocence is an adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel (1920) with the same title. Columbia Pictures released it on October 1, 1993.
The movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis (as Newland Archer), Michelle Pfeiffer (Ellen Olenska), Winona Ryder (May Welland), and Miriam Margolyes in lead roles. Being one of the important movies of Miriam Margolyes, who plays the role of Mrs. Mingott, she won BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in 1994. Winona Ryder won Academy Award in the same category.
The story is an unclear love triangle between Daniel, his fiance’ May, and her cousin Ellen. During a party, Daniel meets Ellen and slowly falls for this unconventional lady compared to May, his innocent fiance lacking personal opinion and a sense of self. But for the will of his family, he marries Mary and has four kids.
After spending his life as a dutiful, loving father and faithful husband, without May, who died of infectious pneumonia. However, his engaged son, Ted, persuades him to visit Countess Olenska in Paris and fulfill his mother’s last wish. But, even though they reach outside Olenska’s place, Archer recollects their memories and walks off.
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Immortal Beloved (1994)
Bernard Rose’s Immortal Beloved is a British-American biographical film narrating the life of composer Ludwig van Beethoven in the words of his secretary cum close friend, Anton Schindler. This story is based on Anton’s life and his quest to find Ludwig’s ‘Immortal Beloved. And for this, he interviews potential women throughout the Austrian Empire.
Post Ludwig’s death in 1827, Anton discovers a will and three letters among his private papers that addressed Unsterbliche Geliebte (Immortal Beloved). During the quest, he meets Giulietta Gucciardi (Beethoven’s piano student), Anna-Marie Erdödy, and his sister-in-law Johanna Reiss.
Conclusively, to Anton’s surprise, Johanna is that Immortal Beloved, whose son Karl was actually Ludwig’s son. He wrote her those letters before her marriage. Unfortunately, they never reached her, which created a misunderstanding between the two. Hence, Ludwig’s family had his heirs. And Johanna visits Beethoven’s grave.
Miriam Margolyes plays Nanette Streicherova, a German piano maker, composer, music educator, and writer. Beethoven was one of her friends and customers. She even assumed much of the responsibilities for his domestic arrangements and assistance in his compositions.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
The journey of one of the well-known wizards, Harry Potter, begins once again with the 2002 movie. Chris Columbus-directed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second movie in the Harry Potter film series. It continues the story of wizards at Hogwarts who began their magical journey in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001).
Summer vacations are over, and Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) has to return to Hogwarts. But despite the warnings of an elf he meets named Dobby, Harry and Ron (Rupert Grint) somehow reach their school in Ron’s flying car.
However, a strange series of incidents begin taking place, and Harry learns about the opening of The Chamber of Secrets and its heir. And here begins the conquest of finding that heir whose prime suspects are Harry and Draco Malfoy ( Tom Felton).
However, in the end, Tom Riddle is revealed as the true heir, who baits Harry with Ginny (Bonnie Wright ). But, Harry, as always, solves the case, and once again becomes everyone’s hero, including Ginny. Miriam Margolyes appears for the first time in this series as Pomona Sprout, a Herbology professor and head of Hufflepuff. This was one of the major roles Miriam Margolyes ever played in movies.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
This movie is the second and final movie of David Yates in the Harry Potter film series. With a worldwide release between 13 to 15 July 2011, it is the highest-grossing film in 2011 and the third-highest-grossing film ever. Presently, it is the highest-grossing film in the Harry Potter film series.
In this movie, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), with his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and other fellow mates in Hogwarts, confront Voldemort and finally defeat him.
In the end, this trio of best friends waves to their children going to Hogwarts, beginning another chapter of magical experiences. According to the critics, Deathly Hallows Part II was aptly able to bring the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying and suitably magical ending.
Miriam Margolyes has been an integral part of Harry Potter movies since her first appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). She reprised her role as professor Pomona Sprout from her earlier films in the Harry Potter series. Miriam Margolyes appeared briefly only during the battle scenes in the movie, concluding her journey as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter movies.
So these were the top 10 movies of Miriam Margolyes to be worth enjoying.