Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Knee Jerk Thoughts on The Special Relationship: The Clintons, Dennis Quaid, Julianne Moore, Peter Morgan, and Michael Sheen

Have you heard about "The Special Relationship"?

The the main players of the cast has been assembled for a not-yet-Greenlit HBO project called "The Special Relationship."

Staring Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton, Julianne Moore as Hillary Clinton, and Michael Sheen as Tony Blair.

The Title, The Special Relationship: If I tell you there is a Bill Clinton Biopic called The Special Relationship, what will you think of? Surely some less then professional and morally objectionable relationships the President had with various females including Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers, and Paula Jones. And if the TV-movie doesn't focus on this, you would think it would be focusing on how Hillary Clinton could tolerate this type of behavior and stand beside Bill in a hope to have her own political success on the coat-tails of her husband.

The film is not about these relationships...or if at all included, which I doubt, it is not the special relationship the title references. No, it's about Bill Clinton's relationship with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton: Most people in bio-pics get an upgrade, and the casting decision of Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton really doesn't bother me. Sure, why not...toothy grins, large foreheads, the ability for Quaid to play all-American, this works for me.

Julianne Moore as Hillary Clinton: What in the world are they thinking? This is more than the typical biopic upgrade. Sure Elizabeth Banks took on the part of Laura Bush in W, but why would Julianne Moore take on this role that seems like such a Saturday Night Live caricature. Amy Poehler did a great job, and sure Julianne Moore will surely want to bring some dignity to the role...but why would she take on this role? Julianne as Hillary is more than an upgrade.

Julianne Moore & Dennis Quaid: Moore & Quaid played husband and wife in Far From Heaven, for which Moore received one of her four Oscar nods. In Far From Heaven, the 1950s drama, the perfect couple ends up having problems with Quaid has homosexual relations at the office and Moore falls in love with the African-American Gardner...sounds like Quaid and Moore have already stared in a movie about "special relationships."

Peter Morgan: Peter Morgan is a screenwriter I've been paying attention to. His high profile historical bio-pics have consistently given actors and actresses a chance to shine in high-profile acclaimed character driven stories (The Queen, The Last King of Scotland, Frost/Nixon). But this project on the surface seems far less intriguing, and the fact that it's for HBO as opposed to the big screen discourages my interest. In addition Peter Morgan is currently slated to direct this project, it's interesting that this would be his directorial debut, I would think he would have chosen a different project. It makes me think he's taking the first opportunity to direct that is being handed to him.

Michael Sheen as Tony Blair: I don't know if Peter Morgan's script contracts contractually force Sheen to get lead roles but Sheen consistently leads in Peter Morgan penned films (The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Deal, and the upcoming The Damned United).

When I first saw Michael Sheen in The Queen I was very impressed. His portrayal of Tony Blair was incredible, and thought it was Oscar-nomination worthy, but this will be Sheen's third time to play the part of Blair, all of which were in Morgan scripts (The Deal, The Queen, and now The Special Relationship). Honestly, isn't it time everyone moves on, that is unless Michael Sheen's anticipating royalties from a Tony Blair box set or something.

Is Peter Morgan going to pen-screenplays about Tony Blair's interaction with every leader of the Western World? If that's the case Michael Sheen should have no problem keeping his schedule full, Morgan can write the next project while Sheen's first project is filming.

What are your knee jerk reactions?


Southern (in)Sanity said...

My knee-jerk reaction is that people won't pay to see a movie about Bill Clinton's relationship with Tony Blair.

If it had been about some or all of the other relationships you mentioned, that would be a different story.

Lorna said...

I couldn't even get a knee-jerk...

Anonymous said...

I'm so over the entire Clinton clan. Hillary really wore me out over this past year. And I surely don't care about former President Clinton's relationship with Tony Blair. Wierd show.