Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Fair Lady, Take Two

Simple question: Does My Fair Lady need to be remade for any particular reason? Even if with Keira Knightley and (possibly) Daniel Day-Lewis in the Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison roles, respectively? I've always thought Hepburn was fairly miscast in that film and Harrison, who made a career out of playing that role, just yelled the words out. So it's not like it's perfect. Yet despite those flaws--or maybe, in terms of what makes it still reasonably endearing (despite its defeating Dr. Strangelove for Best Picture and Harrison defeating both Peter Sellers for that film and the great Peter O'Toole for Becket), because of those flaws--it's still seen as a classic, a movie that gets a number of things just right. So, why remake it? Maybe because they can, and maybe because they think they can actually make it better.

I'm always more inclined to accept unofficial "remakes." For instance, Baz Luhrmann's Australia appears to be wanting to desperately be "EPIC" like Giant or dare we say it, Gone With the Wind and other traditional epics, this time with a strong Aussie twist.

David Poland speculates as to who could be cast in this thing...

I think I like the Kevin Kline idea by one of the commenters myself.


Anonymous said...

I heard about Daniel Day-Lewis possibly doing Nine, but didn't realize he was being considered for My Fair Lady. Interesting.

Does anything need to be remade? I don't think so. But Hollywood seems to have run out of ideas.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood why My Fair Lady was considered a classic.

There. I said it.

(Hides away and prepares to dodge rotten tomatoes)

Alexander Coleman said...

No rotten tomatoes from me, Hedwig. I suppose I can see why it's considered a classic but I don't personally see it (maybe you could tell by the way I sort of scratched around in my post looking for reasons, sentimental and otherwise, why it's thought of being one).

It's a movie that works okay for a good, somewhat fun viewing but I've never felt remotely compelled to ever revisit it.

Sometimes "remakes" can take you by surprise, Alison. Cronenberg's The Fly is a good example of a film that is technically a remake of an older film made rich by the obsessions of the director.

But a remake of My Fair Lady doesn't exactly invite such a scenario, methinks.

Craig Kennedy said...

On one hand, people have technically been creating remakes for ages. Shakespeare gets dragged out and redone all the time in one form or another.

But on the other hand, it smacks of creative movies are different from a live performance...they're there if you want them.

So in principle, I'm against them except in limited circumstances. Having said that, I have no love of the original film. It feels tainted to me because Audrey didn't do her own singing.

I don't know. I'm thinking out loud. I'm less troubled by this one than some.

Alexander Coleman said...

I pretty much agree with your ramblings, Craig. When folks mention directly remaking Jaws or (gulp, sadly it's already happened) Psycho or The Women (it's, to borrow a phrase from the '60s and Shyamalan, happening!) certain other films, it makes my blood boil because to me there's simply no way to even remotely make a remake of those films as good as the first go around, but in this case I find myself less angered and slightly more curious. My Fair Lady may have won a bunch of Oscars and people may still enjoy it, but to me it's just not sacrosanct.

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