Not enough marquee-brand actresses adhere to the Steve McQueen school of less-is-more acting. One of my all-time favorite female performances in this vein was Kristin Scott Thomas‘ grief-struck ex-convict in I’ve Loved You For So Long (’08). On the other end of things are the over-emoters, and one of the most deeply annoying in this regard has been Emily Blunt. For me at least.

When I think of top-tier actresses who seem strangely and fundamentally opposed to the kind of acting that Thomas exhibited in ILYSL, Blunt tops the list.

To me she’s always “acting,” and all this strenuous effort kinda drains my soul. Blunt has been kicking it since playing Meryl Streep‘s assistant in The Devil Wears Prada (’06) and in my book she’s given only two performances I’ve been able to really believe and settle into, and they both opened eight years ago — the hard-ass “Rita Vrataski” in Edge of Tomorrow and the baker’s wife in Into the Woods.

Okay, I liked her also in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (’11). Okay, she wasn’t bad in Charlie Wilson’s War (’07) and Sunshine Cleaning (’08).

I was actually okay with Blunt until she started playing above-the-title leads, a period which seemed to begin with The Five Year Engagement (’12). All I know is that I flinched, twitched and occasionally rolled my eyes during her performances in The Devil Wears Prada (too much sniffling and sneezing), Looper, Arthur Newman (“I don’t like Durm!”), Sicario (really hated her in this…too emotional, too actressy, picking up some stray dude in a bar), The Huntsman: Winter’s War, The Girl on the Train, A Quiet Place (stop “acting”!), Mary Poppins Returns (awful…Blunt’s second-worst film), A Quiet Place Part II (Blunt suggestion — try imagining that the camera isn’t there and that what’s happening in a given moment is simply happening to your character alone), and Jungle Cruise (arguably Blunt’s worst film ever).