An overlooked film for sure—underappreciated—it’s very notable for Roger Deakins photography (this was his big break so to speak) and the slow-burn narrative/performance by John Hurt
Deakins bleach bypass technique completely washes out the color and it’s quite stunning in its effectiveness—rumor (IMDB trivia) is he and Radford wanted black and white but were turned down by the studio.
Also notable for Richard Burton’s last film—sadly he passed away really young (age 58). It’s not the triumph for him it is for Hurt but he’s quite good here in his few scenes
Uniform uniforms and lots of extras give it the proper scope despite most of the scenes involving two characters (either hurt and burton or hurt and Suzanna Hamilton (also in out of Africa) and being a slow burn
Effective use of TV’s (size), radio announcements on war, production rates increasing, via soundtrack and rows and of people at the rally and rows of desk at work in the few scenes at Hurt’s work
Dystopian slow-burn with some scary pictures of youth that reminded me of Haneke’s white ribbon—nazi implications
This dystopia is very different than blade runner– it’s drab—almost looks like Rosellini’s war trilogy with all the rubble
Gorgeous landscapes in the woods- the green valley escape and surrealism sequences
Hurt and burton are two powerful actors
Shot and photographed in step with novel at same time in 1984 and on same dates which is strange
Paul Greengrass is currently planning a new adaptation of the novel that I believe is to be released in 2022? But it’s been in development hell for quite some time now. Anyway, I was wondering about what your thoughts are on a new adaptation and whether Greengrass would be the ideal director (my pick would be Villeneuve or Cuaron). Additionally, what actors would you cast in the lead roles of the film? I’d have Casey Affleck (though there are certainly many picks that would be just as good) as Winston and Michael Shannon (if not him then perhaps Bryan Cranston or Christoph Waltz?) as O’Brien, and for Julia I’d probably go with Carey Mulligan perhaps. For Emmanuel Goldstein, I’d probably pick Gary Oldman for Goldstein, though I’ve also seen Woody Allen suggested and he pretty much has the look down as I envision it already. On Big Brother, it breaks my heart for this because after watching The Master I’d say that Phillip Seymour Hoffman would be the perfect Big Brother but that can’t happen for obvious reasons. A few others I’d think would be just as effective (since the role doesn’t have to be anything more than a face after all) would be Ralph Fiennes, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Mads Mikkelsen, or my ideal pick, Daniel Day-Lewis, and I don’t think it would screw with his retirement so much as long as it’s just the face or a short repeated recording. About the less prominent roles, such as Syme, Parsons and Mr. Charrington, I’d probably cast someone like Lakeith Stanfield or Daniel Kaluuya as Syme, for Parsons I’d probably pick someone like Ricky Gervais (but it’s been a long while since I’ve read the book so I don’t remember this character too well) and for Charrington I would’ve had a nod to the original film by having him played by John Hurt, but as with PSH that obviously can’t happen so the next closest thing would be Jonathan Pryce as a nod to the arguably much better (if significantly looser) 1984 adaptation, although really any aging British actor would probably work so if not Pryce I’d pick Michael Caine in his stead.
Would love to hear about what you would do in charge of production!
Now that I think about it, Day-Lewis (so long as he leaves retirement) would actually be a great O’Brien as well, not in the least because both are Irish. It’d be similar casting to Burton as both are acclaimed actors that would have the role of O’Brien as their last performance.
@Zane- wow! look at this! Great work– and I’d love to see DDL come back– he’s 63 now– still relatively young — two years younger than like Willem Dafoe who is clearly still going strong
There’s probably a thousand different cast combinations that you could create that I think would be exceptional, but Affleck as Winston, Shannon/Day-Lewis as O’Brien, Mulligan as Julia, any of those I mentioned as Big Brother, Oldman as Goldstein, Stanfield as Syme and Pryce as Charrington is just the one I think is the best. But there are many combinations with actors I have not mentioned (Ewan McGregor, Sam Rockwell or Oscar Isaac as Winston, and Ethan Hawke, Steve Carell or Michael Stuhlbarg as O’Brien, and these are just several of many. I would love to see Tom Hardy and Russell Crowe in there somewhere as well. I also think many of the actors who could play Winston would work just as fine as O’Brien too) that I think would be great. The only problem is quite a few of the actors I’ve envisioned are American and would have to work to get a convincing English accent.
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