Dame Emma Thompson is reunited with screen nemesis  Alisha Weir

Dame Emma Thompson is reunited with screen nemesis  Alisha Weir 2
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Dame Emma Thompson is reunited with screen nemesis Alisha Weir as ecstatic co-stars attend photocall for Matilda: The Musical at 66th BFI Film Festival

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Dame Emma Thompson was reunited with her screen nemesis on Wednesday afternoon as the cast of Matilda: The Musical gathered for a photocall in London. 

The celebrated actress plays tyrannical headmistress Miss Agatha Trunchbull in the latest adaptation of Roald Dahl’s popular children’s novel, alongside Alisha Weir as the titular schoolgirl Matilda Wormwood. 

But their screen animosity was put to one side as the co-stars warmly embraced while posing for photographers at the Mayfair Hotel during this year’s 66th BFI Film Festival. 

Close: Dame Emma Thompson was reunited with screen nemesis Alisha Weir on Wednesday afternoon as the cast of Matilda: The Musical gathered for a photocall in London

Close: Dame Emma Thompson was reunited with screen nemesis Alisha Weir on Wednesday afternoon as the cast of Matilda: The Musical gathered for a photocall in London

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The actress, 63,  caught the eye in a colourful collared jacket and generously cut white jeans as she mingled with cast-mates ahead of the film’s official premiere on October 5. 

Evidently delighted to be reunited with child star Weir, she scooped the talented 13-year old off her feet during a lively red carpet appearance. 

Weir looked appropriately glamorous in a blue sequinned dress teamed with casual white Nike trainers and ankle socks as she made her latest public appearance on behalf of the forthcoming film.  

Smart: The actress caught the eye in a colourful collared jacket and generously cut white jeans as she mingled with cast-mates ahead of the film's official premiere on October 5.

Smart: The actress caught the eye in a colourful collared jacket and generously cut white jeans as she mingled with cast-mates ahead of the film’s official premiere on October 5.

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Pleased: Evidently delighted to be reunited with child star Weir, she scooped the talented 13-year old off her feet during a lively red carpet appearance

Pleased: Evidently delighted to be reunited with child star Weir, she scooped the talented 13-year old off her feet during a lively red carpet appearance

Pleased: Evidently delighted to be reunited with child star Weir, she scooped the talented 13-year old off her feet during a lively red carpet appearance

Inseparable: Thompson and Weird were rarely apart during their latest public appearance on behalf of the new film

Inseparable: Thompson and Weird were rarely apart during their latest public appearance on behalf of the new film 

The director of the London Film Festival has said she opted to open and close with “joyous bits of cinema” that will leave the audience feeling “uplifted” in response to troubling recent world events.

The 66th festival, run by the British Film Institute (BFI), takes place in London between October 5 and 16 and extends to cultural venues in another 10 cities across the UK, including Manchester, Sheffield, Cardiff and Belfast.

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This year, LFF will open with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and closes with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery with James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

Exciting: This year, London Film Festival will open with Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical and closes with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery with James Bond actor Daniel Craig

Exciting: This year, London Film Festival will open with Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical and closes with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery with James Bond actor Daniel Craig

Festival director Tricia Tuttle told the PA news agency: ‘What they share in common is they’re both very joyous bits of cinema and that felt really great this year, to have celebratory opening and closing moments.

‘Matilda for us was really important. It’s a great British story, but it’s also a really joyous story about underdogs getting their own back and it’s a great female-centred story as well, that felt very special.

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‘Biggest of all for us, we haven’t actually opened or closed the festival in more than a decade with a family film. We do screen family films at the festival but it was so great to be able to say in a very bold and high-profile way that the festival is for everyone.

‘We’re closing the festival with Knives Out, which is great, it’s a real crowd-pleaser, it’s going to be a really fun way to end the festival.’

Tuttle said that film-makers this year are “not making a lot of light stories”.

She told PA: ‘There are some incredible films across the whole programme which are darker, more complex in terms of themes and stories, and take you to much darker places … they’re responding to the world that we live in, which is a pretty troubling place, and you see that in the cinema this year.

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‘We don’t want to deny that that’s out there, we’re really excited about the works that they’ve made. But we did also love the idea of going out in an equally brilliant piece of film-making like Glass Onion, but it’s going to leave people feeling very uplifted.’ 

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