Sunday, January 20, 2008

From the People Who Brought You "Madame de Tourvel"

You may have seen this in the comments already but The Daily Mail informs us that director Stephen Frears (The Queen) and screenwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement) may work with their Dangerous Liaisons star Michelle Pfeiffer again.


Or at least they want to. La Pfeiffer is a notoriously difficult sign-on for any picture and sometimes (just look at her filmography) she doesn't know what's best for her. The film is called Chéri --which is based on the 1920 novel from famed French writer Colette. She also penned Gigi which went on to be a big Oscar champ in movie form.

A little bit about Cheri from Wikipedia:
Chéri tells a story of the end of a six-year affair between an aging retired courtesan Léa, and a pampered young man, Chéri. Turning stereotypes upside-down, it is Chéri who wears silk pajamas and Léa's pearls, and who is the object of gaze. And in the end Léa demonstrates all the survival skills which Colette associates with femininity. (The story continued in The Last of Chéri (1926), which contrasts Léa's strength and Chéri's fragility and decline).
On paper it sounds like a pfantastic idea: reteam with the men who helped you nab your first Oscar nomination for a juicy retired courtesan role. The only time you ever came close to winning -- The Fabulous Baker Boys (FYC ad, pictured left) -- you played a former call girl. It gives you a challenging character and plays up your considerable but aging beauty as well as your steelier side. It even comes with a prewritten sequel (The Last of Chéri) if all goes well.

... but will she do it? Léa the courtesan is 49 in the novel (Pfeiffer's actual age) and Chéri is 25. If Pfeiffer signs on, what young rising male star would risk playing her dandified object of affection? We shouldn't yet get our hopes up but wouldn't it be sweet to see her in a prestige costume drama again --it's been 15 years since her last one, Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence. If she doesn't accept, you can bet that they'll still find their Léa. There's at least a dozen underused late 40s/early 50s movie beauties who'll no doubt be salivating for this opportunity.
*

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please, please say yes.

I may not be her biggest fan, but i would love to see her in this role. Anybody but Blanchett would win me over.

I think Ryan Gosling would be perfect as 'Cheri'. He's got that sweet boyish quality, and I'd love to see him in a role where he is overpowered by an older woman. If anyone can pull that off, he can.

Kamikaze Camel said...

That does sound mighty appertising, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty torn. as much as i would love to see "the face" in gorgeous corsettes again, this would be another step towards the "cougar-isation" of la pfeiffer. first, in i could never be your woman. next in that ashton kutcher thing/movie. just because she's believable as a middle aged(gasp!) sexpot that young guys could fall for doesn't mean she should be typecasted. can't they get dame judi for this instead? hehe

Anonymous said...

I think there's no way "Juno" will make the Oscar shortlist over "Diving Bell and Butterfly". My predictions for Best Picture:
1. No country for old men (LOCK)
2. There will be blood (VERY PROBABLE)
3. Diving Bell and the Butterfly (VERY PROBABLE)
4. Michael Clayton (POSSIBLE)
And I think that somehow
5. Atonement
Does SAG love mean Oscar love necessarily? I don't think so and "Into the wild" is neither as inventive, nor as well-written as these five. What's more, Emile Hirsch is awfully young for a nod - he's not a woman. I don't expect anything but supporting actor and best song noms.
My best actor predix: Day Lewis (LOCK), Mortensen (LOCK), Clooney (LOCK), Depp (Very PROBABLE) and McAvoy (POSSIBLE).
And I hope that Cate f***ing Blanchett won't steal the fifth slot from Laura Linney.

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty torn. as much as i would love to see "the face" in gorgeous corsettes again, this would be another step towards the "cougar-isation" of la pfeiffer. first, in i could never be your woman. next in that ashton kutcher thing/movie. just because she's believable as a middle aged(gasp!) sexpot that young guys could fall for doesn't mean she should be typecasted. can't they get dame judi for this instead? hehe

-ryansumera

Anonymous said...

Frears, Hampton and Pfeiffer. Together again?

We should start praying now for this to happen.

Marcelo - Brazil.

whip-smart said...

Hopefully Cheri will not be played by Michael Pitt, but, realistically, he probably will be... :(

Michelle Pfeiffer's not exactly a goddess that *I* worship - I find her brittle - but I would absolutely die of pleasure if Miranda Richardson signs on. She could play any role under the sun, but this one is just right for her.

I'd like to see the 2008 Oscars with Miranda cast in every role: Miranda Richardson as "Giselle" in "Enchanted", Miranda Richardson as "Daniel Plainview" in "There Will Be Blood", Miranda Richardson as "Anton Chigurh" in "No Country for Old Men", Miranda Richardson as "Helene McCready" in "Gone Baby Gone" and, of course, as "Bob Dylan" in "I'm Not There".

Whoo, frickin' mindblow.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. R.,

are you having a difficult time to finish Screenplay Adaptation for the FB Awards?

Marcelo - Brazil.

Arkaan said...

I'd be more excited to see a biopic on Colette based on Judith Thurman's majesterial biography, with Kate Winslet. And the last adaptation of a Thurman work became "Out of Africa"

Middento said...

I meant to tell you, by the way, that it appears that I Could Never Be Your Woman opened in Argentina last month -- at least it seems so since there was a review in the journal El Amante. Which means everyone else may get it, even while we don't.

NATHANIEL R said...

whip-smart agreed that Miranda Richardson doesn't work enough. And after her mindblowing triple role in Spider (shoulda been nominated) the role playing you suggest is gorgeously enticing.

NATHANIEL R said...

Marcelo all traditional (Oscary) categories are finished and posted in the FILM BITCH AWARDS.

enjoy

lawyer tony fernando said...

It´s a dream right? I mean a big dream, are we both at the same pfeiffer fantasy Nathaniel? I dont´know, it´s just like prefection. I really can see that actor from The Door in the floor in the role (And I also can see Kim in the role if M won´t) and thank God that she´s considering a period drama again, ohh I really missed the blog, but Porto Seguro-Bahia was expecting me,so it was love...

vinci said...

juicy

David S. said...

That is so strange, because I just began Chéri the other night and imagined Michelle Pfeiffer (or at least someone very similar) as his lover. Love it.

amir_uk said...

I love love this novella - a Frears/Hampton/Pfeiffer triple attack would be brilliant for the screen adaptation.