Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Incoherent Oscar: Dream Duos

One of my favourite things about looking at the (usually) 20 actors nominated for the Academy Awards is deciding which of their fellow nominees they should team up with for their future projects. I’m still holding out that my Meryl Streep / Jean du Jardin and Annette Bening / Geoffrey Rush vehicles from the last two years materialise – this is what I’m pitching this year.

Alan Arkin and Anne Hathaway
I’m not especially enthused at the idea of Anne heading to a contemporary adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew as has been reported, both because Elizabeth Taylor’s fantastic 1967 turn is excellent and will be difficult to top, and because “contemporary updates” of period pieces are not my favourite genres. Still, her constant weeping as Fantine has made audience collectively impressed (I promise, I’ll get to that film soon) and if she must turn to the Bard why not go for full out tears – with King Lear? The very aged supporting actor slate has many options for a Lear, but Arkin is the only one I’d put my trust in – for this role at least. We can always bring in Philip Seymour Hoffman to play the Fool, though.

Helen Hunt and Naomi Watts
In my head this would have been Naomi and Nicole because why – oh why – haven’t those two been a film yet? Does anyone remember a project IMDB (Need was the title, I believe) had on their site a few years back about a patient who tries to steal her psychiatrist’s husband? I never knew if Nicole or Naomi would be the patient and yes, I understand this dream duo is about Helen and Naomi and I have more appreciation than most seem to have for Helen. Musing on things I wonder – why even her best of roles all depend on a significant amount of sanguineness in their creation. Has she ever played someone unhinged? Maybe update Need and have Helen and Naomi star. The other option, Helen and Naomi star as opposing heads of two warring mob families – shenanigans ensue. Throw Jacki Weaver in there as someone’s mother. Critics rejoice.

Jessica Chastain and Bradley Cooper
I can’t speak to everyone, but I love when an actor I’ve been previously apathetic about impresses me and now I feel less angry at Bradley Cooper for dulling the lovely Abbie Cornish in Limitless, I want him in more things now. If we must have that The Taming of the Shrew contemporary piece why not have Jessica and Bradley instead? Chastain has given us with many varied characters but she’s yet to play someone as fiery as Katharine the Shrew. In some ways I’d be more inclined for a Kiss Me Kate film although I’m not certain either can sing. Perhaps, then, a non-musical adaptation of a behinds-the-scenes theatre piece about a battling husband and wife putting on a production of The Taming of the Shrew.

Daniel Day Lewis and Christoph Waltz
Both Daniel and Christoph were memorable last decade for playing characters nowhere near as congenial as the ones they’re nominated for this year. Both gentlemen seem to have warm dispositions, but warm and sunny does not always make for a good film. Imagine Landa and Bill the Butcher meeting up? I admit to my laziness, but surely that match-up would write itself…?

Sally Field and Joaquin Phoenix
My favourite nomination of this year is Sally Field’s Mary Todd Lincoln – not because it’s my favourite performance of the 20 (although it’s in the top half) but because I simply adore Sally Field. Taking the same occasionally loopy persona of her work in Lincoln why not transpose her to an equally batty playwright and have her perform as Amanda Wingfield in some version of The Glass Menagerie. I realise Joaquin Phoenix is somewhat too old for a realistic Tom Wingfield so let’s move the setting to the forties, have Joaquin be an ex-soldier back living at home with his mother, Anne as his spinster-sister, Sally as their domineering mother – drama and tears abound and everyone wins.

Would you green-light any of these dream duo pairings? Which of the twenty nominated actors would you like to see team up?


Paul S said...

Naomi and Nicole have appeared in the same movie, 1991's Flirting.
Never having seen it, I'm not aware if they share the screen, but according to reports this week they are currently searching for a project they can both appear in.

Looks like your dream pairing may soon become reality!

Squasher88 said...

Interesting pairings. I especially love Chastain and Cooper together. That would be hot!

This is fun! Here are my suggestions:

Hathaway and Field, because Hathaway seems to admire her so much.

Daniel Day Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix squaring off with some fiery roles(way out there, Scarface style). They would just light up the screen!

Denzel and Quvenzhane, with Denzel changing it up and playing an older, warmer "Morgan Freeman" grandfather to Quvenzhane.

Helen Hunt as a drug addict who gets "saved" by Alan Arkin.

Naomi and Hugh Jackman in a sweet romance.

ruth said...

Whoah, I'd love to see Daniel and Christoph in a film together, that's a splendid duo!! I like Bradley in Silver Linings, but I'm still not a fan yet, I dunno, he's just too pretty. I'd like to see Chastain and Phoenix as well, perhaps as star-crossed lovers? ;)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

paul that would be great. i loved their show of friendship at the SAGs with naomi whooping when nicole's clips were shown.

shane helen as a drug addict would be great because i do want to see her in a dirtier role.

ruth ooh, jessica and joaquin would be nice, too.