Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I have exams going on right now, but I continue to post on the net or reading Film Experience and The Awards Circuit. Oh well, whatever. Still celebrating the imminent release of Nine I have another list of nine. Nine films I want to see made, I don't have all nine though, just three. Bear with me... My premise is simple these works of fiction need to be made into movies now with top notch actors to win some Oscars.

Anybody Can Do Anything based on a novel by Betty MacDonald

Directed by Stephen Daldry
Written by
Betty Bard Kirsten Dunst
Mary Bard Emily Blunt
Sidney Bard Annette Bening
Dede Bard Natalie Portman
Allison Bard Scarlet Johansson
Cleve Bard Haley Joel Osment
Gammy Susan Sarandon

This is a sort of autobiography work of fiction. The author Betty struggles to survive during The Great Depression, actually struggle is the wrong word. This novel is a work of comedy. It is hilarious. If you have not read it, go out and get it. NOW!

I have put some serious thought into adapting this (obscure and largely unknown) novel. I even wrote about 30 pages of script for it, but that was a few years back when I thought Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger would be great in it. They still could, but they’d be too old –which sucks. I know this isn’t a real movie, but I would have loved to see them in this Depression era comedy. I have always felt that Kirsten Dunst was a much better actress than people give her credit for. She never got the chance to show us. Since her performance in Interview With the Vampire I’ve always felt that she was going to be a great actress – and now more than a decade after the fact there’s nothing. I am a fan of Stephen Daldry. I’ve loved each if his three films – and he can do both comedy and drama exceptionally. This film would be a cross between the two genres. Emily Blunt is good at lightweight comedy, and Mary is the most colourful character in the novel, she has the strongest lines – and is just a little caustic (not like The Devil Wears Prada though…). Annette Bening is good at playing mothers, and the role of Sidney is just the type of easy-but-tough maternal character that could become a strong supporting role on screen. Portman, Johansson and Osment seem like a good trio to round out the rest of the family, and Susan Sarandon as the tough-as-nails grandmother is pretty much a no brainer, although the role in the book is not that big. They could always flesh it out though. I assume that they’ll probably want to change the name of the film though… I don’t know to what. Would this be a big player at the Oscars? Costumes and Art Direction could be forthcoming, and I think music should be an important part of the film. In terms of acting Emily Blunt and possibly Bening would be likely contenders, Dunst would have most of the weight on her though and she could be a contender – the role is a bit like a Depression Era Bridget Jones. The AMPAS loves Stephen Daldry so I guess he would get his fourth consecutive Best Director nod for this…

PS. Everyone of the family members have red hair!

Will Emily Blunt get the Oscar nomination she deserved for Prada?

Crooked House based on a novel by Agatha Christie

Crooked House directed by Joe Wright
Screenplay – Julian Fellowes
Charles Hayward – Peter Sarasgard
Sophia Leonides – Rosamund Pike
Magda (Sophia's Mum) – Kristin Scott Thomas
Philip (her Father) – Ralph Fiennes
Police Commissioner
Clemeny Leonides (Mrs. Robert Leonides)– Michelle Pfeiffer
Roger Leonides – Daniel Day Lewis - I could not resist
Brenda Leonides – Sally Hawkins
Laurence Brown – James McAvoy
Josephine – Saiorse Ronan
Eustace - Freddy Highmore
Edith de Haviland – Miranda Richardson

I like Agatha Christie but generally I don’t like her movies (except for Murder on the Orient Express). I don’t really like murder mystery films generally, which is why I have such an unabated love for Gosford Park, which focused on the people more than on the murder. I think Crooked House would work as a film, if done in the same vein as Gosford Park. It’s one of the lesser known Christie novels and the plot is simple. It’s immediately after the World War II and the police commissioner’s son – somewhat of a lothario wants to marry this beautiful socialite, but when her grandfather dies – ostensibly murdered she says she won’t be able to marry him unless the murder is solved. The thing is everyone is hoping that his wife – a woman almost forty years his junior did it, because if it is anyone else it could cause a huge scandal. Naturally the cast – list of suspects – is extensive; The murdered man’s children, grandchildren, a tutor who was having an affair with the wife, etc. The cast will be mainly British – as expected. And key roles need to have real heavyweights in them. Edith de Havilland is not a flashy role, but it is the key supporting role and Oscar likes those (Helen Mirren in Gosford Park.
Who knows, this could be a real heavyweight come Oscar season. I predict that it will be a tough year and it gets seven nods. Art Direction, Costume Design, Score, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (wins), Supporting Actress (Ronan or Richardson), Director. I predict that Kristin Scott Thomas and Peter Sarasgard give great performances, but are snubbbed by major award bodies.

Miranda knows more about the murder than she lets on... but is she the killer?

Fences based on a play by August Wilson

Fences directed by Kenny Leon
Screenplay –
Troy – Laurence Fishburne
Rose – Angela Bassett
Gabriel – Don Cheadle
Cory – Mechad Brooks
Jim – Mos Def
Alberta – Taraji P. Henson
Lyons - Keith Robinson

Why aren’t there any black period pieces? Granted, this is not really an actual period piece, but it is to some extent. This play won a Pulitzer Prize and a few Tony’s, I’ve never heard of a revival and I think it needs to be made into a film. Where has Angela Basset been all these years? I mean, she deserves more than having co-lead roles in Tyler Perry films. I know she could act the hell of this tour-de-force role (which won a supporting actress Tony for Mary Alice). It’s actually a leading role, but you know the Tony’s don’t care about category fraud. If this is made into a good film whoever gets this role will get some awards recognition, and then how could I not wax nostalgic and cast Laurence Fishburne as her husband. The role was originally played by James Earl Jones (he won a Tony for it) and Laurence Fishburne does remind me of Jones. This would be spectacular. Then there’s the role of Gabriel, his semi-retarded brother. Don Cheadle is one of my favourite actors period (he was the only thing I liked in Crash) and he is an Oscar nominated actor (he was second only to DiCaprio for his great performance in Hotel Rwanda). I know he can do this. The role of, the son is a big one and there’s no competent young black actor I could see in the role. Mechad Brooks had a few episodes on ABC’s Desperate Housewives as Alfre Woodard’s son and he delivered, I feel he could deliver as Troy. Lyons is Troy's other son, I don't know if Keith Robinson, but I like him. I think he showed some potential in Dreamgirls. I like the idea of a throwback casting for Mos Def as the best friend, if not him then Courtney B. Vance who was in the original Broadway Cast . I like the idea of Taraji as the other woman, just because I like Taraji, the role is unseen in the play – but they could meat it up for the play.
Kenny Leon showed promise and earned a DGA nod for her work in A Raisin in the Sun with Audra McDonald. I'll take a chance on him. Maybe Angela and Laurence could win Oscars. The role of Gabriel is prime Oscar bait.

So will Angie finally get that Oscar?

Which of these movies would you look forward to?

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