Friday, January 05, 2007

Credit where credit is due

Every now and then I find some random tidbit about an upcoming movie so fascinating that I have to share what I've heard. This is sort of like that, except that - I actually haven't heard anything about this movie, I just find the premise of it fantastic.

Not the actual premise of the movie. The premise of the casting. I've never seen such gutsy casting choices for any film since I started noticing this sort of thing. Which I'll admit is only a few years ago, but I think my viewpoint here still holds up:

The flick is Factory Girl, an adaptation of a novel about Edie Sedgwick, the girl who Andy Warhol turned from an unknown Holly Golighty-type actress into a massive star in the art world. Here's the cast:

Sienna Miller is playing Edie. If you scope the tabloids, you might be saying to yourself "isn't she that girl that Jude Law cheated on with the nanny, and so she ended their engagment, but then she took him back, and then ended their relationship again a few months later." Yes. That's her.

Now, you might be saying "I didn't know she was an actress - oh, wait, hasn't she been in some small, low-budget independent films?" Correct again, reader. But what you might have missed is that while Miller was in these films, she was never actually required to do any acting. For example, for her role as the love interest in Layer Cake, the gritty English film that launched Daniel Craig from a nobody to the next Bond, she was required to appear in four scenes. In one of these scenes she seduces and almost sleeps with Craig. In one scene she actually opens her mouth and delivers some dialogue. This is not the same scene as the previous scene. I also think she delivers what dialogue she has into a cell phone, in order to keep her from messing up any of the other actors.

There's nothing wrong with just being the pretty face in a movie, and judging from her frequent appearances in FHM's "100 Hottest Females" (where all rising actresses make their mark), everyone feels she's qualified for the job. But I take issue when the early buzz on the movie is that Miller is being considered a "serious Oscar contender" for her performance, because of her willingness to "bare all in certain sex scenes." I'd like to point out to any Academy readers that Hellen Mirren and Meryl Streep will also likely be nominated, for more traditional reasons. Keep that in mind.

Next up is Andy Warhol, played by Guy Pearce. Pearce is that excellent actor who broke out as Memento's forgetful protagonist in 2000, and has yet to have received a single good role since. That's got to sting a little. I bet very few people come up to Pearce and tell him "I loved you in The Time Machine."

Actually, maybe they do. LA is weird like that.

Also, there's Chuck Wein, played by Saturday Night Live alum Jimmy Fallon, whose star shone brightly for a few months following his retirement from SNL. Then both Taxi and Fever Pitch tanked commercially, and Fallon appeared to be poised to dry up and disappear. Just like Norm McDonald. Just like Chris Kattan. Just like dozens of other SNL players who've flamed out in the same way. Heck, it seems he's back on SNL every other week to cameo in some sketch or another, like those college grads who just can't seem to break away.

Now, most people either adore or despise Fallon, and I unabashedly fall into the former category, though with reservations about his complete inability to make it through any scene without starting to giggle and look at the camera (though I admit that, too, is part of his charm). But I've just got a tough time seeing him in this sort of artsy, Oscar-grubbing movie. Though apparently Wein originally met Sedgwick because he was the sort of guy who'd graduated from Cambridge a few years earlier, but was still bumming around town. Touché, casting.

Finally, the stunner. Bob Dylan. Played by Hayden Christensen. Yes, that Hayden Christensen. Our beloved Anakin Skywalker is playing Bob Dylan.

I'm not even going to comment on it. Just think about it. Isn't that weird?

I'm sure some of you are curious by now, so here's a link to the trailer. Trust me, check it out. You'll be amazed. Hayden Christensen. It's really him.


At January 05, 2007 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Wyman, I think you are very unfair to the cast of the film specially to Ms. Miller. I like her acting in the movie and I believe she gave a good performance. I don't think that you can give a fair comment when mentioning things about her personal life. The movie was not about her personal issues but how well she portrayed Edie.

Please don't give so many details about the movie as if you are the only one who knows about it. A lot of the Oscar readers knows what is happening and it seems you do not.

Lastly, dont take offense if you hear Oscar buz about her acting because Sienna deserves it too.

At January 06, 2007 9:47 AM, Blogger Wyman said...

Trust me, don't worry about my effect on Academy voters. I can promise you that none of them have ever come through here.

Except possibly for you. You seem to be the only person who's seen the movie yet. So if you are an Academy voter, you are perfectly free to ignore this post, which is fine because you've completely misunderstood it anyway.

At January 06, 2007 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always fascinates me when you put a post on your blog under the category of "wow I think this is interesting" and get criticized for it. What's to criticize? The only real statement you made was that this was all interesting.

I for one, was amused. I love your take on Hollywood. It makes me laugh.

At January 13, 2007 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous. fish. barrel.


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