In Praise of Cemolina From the Legend of Barney Thomson

The Legend of Barney Thomson
One of these individuals likes to gamble.

Recently, we watched Robert Carlyle’s fine directorial debut with the darkly humorous and enjoyable the Legend of Barney Thomson. Carlyle (who we once honoured with an article about him being a maniac in films) is an extremely gifted actor but, on this occasion, the equally brilliant Emma Thomson steals the show as his deranged, elderly mother.

Some characters just make movies work, gel, and generally be marvellous. Think Begbie, Withnail, Lloyd Christmas, Hudson, the shark in Jaws, Ellen Ripley, and that big hairy thing in Star Wars. Cemolina is another fine example and we honour her foul-mouthed ranting on this merry day.


Cemolina gets up to some, shall we say, partially illegal antics in the film. She’s a hard drinking, heavy smoking, foul mouthed lady with a penchant for partying and gambling. Indeed, gambling drives the sweet old lady positively ballistic!

That amused us particularly. There’s something about manic braying which works well as a comedy trope – look at Basil Fawlty in that TV show. Here Cemolina is eager for a chip supper whilst yelling abuse at a running dog with what is now going to be a favourite profanity of ours: “wee shite”. Awesome. Awesome to the max.

Her weird behaviour is central to the whole thing and makes watching the film pretty damn awesome. This is, of course, the wonderful Emma Thompson dolled up in makeup to look the 57 year old much older. It’s kind of like what Tom Cruise did in that Tropic Thunder film, minus the dancing, but with almost as much profanity. Oh Cemolina, you amused us muchly!


Anyway, if you want to while away an amusing 90 minutes then why not give this film a watch, eh, you wee shite? As film buffs, we watch a lot here at Professional Moron but generally don’t comment on many films in general (other than with our perceptive Quote Off Extravaganzas) as other people do film reviews. We aren’t other people.

Who are we? Morons who point out how awesome Emma Thompson is in this role. A supporting cast member she may have been, but it makes us want to dress up as an old woman and misbehave in public. And that sounded less weird before we typed it out just now.

Have some gibberish to dispense with?

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