Jonathan Demme has some kind of re-make of The Manchurian Candidate coming out in a couple of weeks, with Denzel Washington in Sinatra’s original Marcos role. Obviously anyone would be pretty skeptical. This is already one of the greatest movies ever made. I’d sooner watch a re-make of Citizen Kane.
Now, however, comes an interesting controversy. Word is that Meryl Streep, cast in the classic Angela Lansbury role, has some kind of hardcore Hillary Clinton thing going that’s making the studio nervous. Eleanor Iselin in this version is even, in fact, a senator, and the studio has supposedly as much as asked Demme to cut some bits where the Hillary likeness is too close for comfort.
The studio’s fear of controversy here is just exactly wrongheaded. Here is a real interesting new, modern angle for this film. Meryl as Hillary as Eleanor Iselin definitely constitutes a strong hook. Indeed, if one were really cynical, they might imagine the studio conjuring this up on purpose to generate publicity. It’s certainly peaked my interest.
In politics, you don’t want to offend any voters, for fear they’ll go to the other guy. You need 51%. In business and entertainment, though, it’s not so much who you cheese off as who you please. On top of which, cheesing off the right people can help you get the favor of others. It’s not how many people you cheese off, it’s how many customers show up with their wallets.
Most Americans who are aware of him HATE Michael Moore, but he’s a hero to the pinko fringe. Most people hate him or haven’t heard of him, but maybe a couple of percent are really dedicatedly interested in seeing his 9/11 film. Therefore, it’s going to be a pretty significant hit. If it cheeses off the right wing THIS bad, it must be worth seeing.
Conversely, a fair number of people were deeply, bitterly offended by Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. This was a weird foreign language folly whereby Gibson managed to waste a big hunk of his fortune — until these huge waves of controversy rolled in, followed by hundreds of millions of dollars.
If this Meryl Streep business causes all the Hillary haters to come out, they’ll have a BIG hit movie on their hands.
Dang, I guess I’m going to HAVE to see this damned thing now.