Recently I wrote a post called ‘perfect portrayals’ listing my five favourite actors/actresses playing famous Hollywood personalities in movies/television miniseries about their lives. In the brain of Frannie, once a thought creeps in, it swirls around for days and days until even more thoughts branch out from the original one or it becomes completely absurd. So, having considered my favourite portrayals of celebrities, I then began to think about classic movie remakes and the actors and actresses who have had to recreate an infamous fictional character. When playing a real life personality, that story can be told from varying perspectives, with each actor able to choose their angles and make the role their own. Re-emulating a fictional character, when the audience feels like they already know everything about them, is a bit more risky… well, I think so anyway.
For example, as a huge fan of the F. Scott Fitzgerald book and original Robert Redford & Mia Farrow movie, I am pretty excited for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby to come out. I hope that Luhrmann’s unique style adds a refreshing take on this classic and believe they have cast really well. Imagine the extra pressure on Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan though? Redford and Farrow were perfection as Gatsby and Daisy in the 1974 movie version, so do DiCaprio and Mulligan make a conscious choice to play the roles in a different manner, risking a poor reception from audiences for changing it up? Or do they attempt to recreate Redford and Farrow’s captivating chemistry and risk being criticised for not achieving it? Either way, it’s some seriously risky business for all involved when producing a remake.
I am looking forward to seeing how they decided to play it. I’m destined to love this movie again regardless, being Leo and all.
I’m not always sold on the idea that a remake is a good idea, if it was terrible then just let it be and if it was successful then I guess the old saying ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ applies. There are definitely times when I am proved wrong on the matter and the remake brings the story into the modern cinematic era of amazing special effects or brings to the forefront for today’s children the classic favourites of older generations. Some of my favourites include…
1. King Kong (2005).
An obvious classic, the story of which most know even if they’ve never seen it, Peter Jackson’s remake gave the 1933 version of King Kong a new life. I personally love old movies but bringing this story back into the spotlight with the special effects of the new millennium was a brilliant move by Jackson. Also, how spot on was the casting of Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow in comparison to original actress Fay Wray?
2. Sabrina (1995).
Marie and I are suckers when it comes to Audrey Hepburn and Sabrina really showcases her charisma along with that of Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. I guess there’s a bit of a Greg Kinnear theme recurring in my list of ‘likes’ too. Similar to Hepburn, the guy exudes charm. It is a cute, romantic movie about a love triangle between two brothers and one girl named Sabrina, played by Hepburn in the 1954 version and Julia Ormond 41 years later. Ormond is elegant and bubbly and as intimidating as it would be to follow in the footsteps of Hepburn, I thoroughly enjoy the 95 version, which also stars Harrison Ford. It’s a lighthearted flick perfect for a rainy day… a great display of 90s fashion too!
3. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (2005).
Admittedly, this remake wasn’t for everyone. The 1971 Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory was fantastically wonderful and when Tim Burton and Johnny Depp teamed up once again to make their 2005 version, they took the road less travelled and changed the tone of the story and the character of Wonka a fair bit, still staying true to the plot taken from Roald Dahl’s classic book. Although different and kooky, you will quickly learn that Burton (especially when coupled with Depp) can do no wrong in my eyes and I love both of these movies. I especially love the Augustus Gloop song and accompanying dance in the Burton version. There’s even a special feature on the DVD that teaches you said dance. I may or may not have (definitely did) learnt it.
And look, just because I don’t like breaking ‘actual, real-world’ rules, I often like to chuck in an addition to my lists that doesn’t quite fit the criteria. Just because I can and because it’s the only time I get to feel rebellious! Therefore…
4. Star Trek (2009).
Totally a franchise and not a remake, the 2009 movie is really good. My Dad and I have watched it together more times than I can count and I’m looking forward to the next instalment which I think is due out next year? It’d been a fair few years since a Star Trek movie had been released and I thought Chris Pine as James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto as Spock and Zoe Saldana as Uhura was brilliant casting. Quinto passed as the Leonard Nemoy Spock so easily.
Fridays are made for daydreaming and if you don’t mind, I think I’ll spend mine lost in ‘movieland’ – I’m a frequent visitor. There will definitely be an imaginary trip to a chocolate factory when 3:30-itis hits!