Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And the award for innovative casting goes to ...

There's been a lot of speculation online that Jamie Foxx is a strong contender for the role of Frank Sinatra in Martin Scorsese's forthcoming biopic.

Now, while the prospect of Scorsese doing Sinatra makes me positively drool - the '50s, the suits, the cool tunes, the mob on the fringes; this kind of stuff is to Scorsese what westerns were to John Ford - I have to admit to a certain degree of concern.

Take a look at these two pictures.

Aside from the main difference (pussy-whipped Mafia bagman vs Oscar-winning actor) does anything strike you in terms of contrast?

Could it be that one is Italian-American and the other is African-American (or, to discard these nonsensical PC-isms, one's a white guy and one's a black guy)?

I couldn't get my head round it.

Then I twigged.

In Shakespearean days, men played women. Throughout the history of cinema, gay actors have played straight roles and vice versa. Able bodied actors have won encomium and awards playing disabled characters. And why not? It's the performance that counts.

So, let's get the project underway. We've got Foxx for Ol' Blue Eyes. How about Leonardo di Caprio as Sammy Davis Jnr, Chow Yun Fat as Dean Martin, Lucy Lui as Peter Lawson, and Dwayne Johnson in drag and a fuck-off big-hair wig as Ava Gardner?

Maybe Scorsese should just stick to producing and Mel Brooks could channel some of his much-missed 'Blazing Saddles'-era directorial brilliance (sample dialogue: "To tell a family secret, my grandmother was Italian").

I'd queue to see that movie.

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