THE POST – REVIEW – All the President’s Men gets a prequel.
Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks star in a Steven Spielberg film about the Washington Post and the publication of the Pentagon Papers during the Nixon presidency. This should be nailed on Oscar glory and guaranteed quality all the way through. Not to mention with the Trump war on Fake News and the Free Press, there’s an urgency to getting this right. And yet… and yet…
It seems as if an air of complacency set in somewhere around the story conference stage. There’s very little drama here. There’s precious little politics. And although Spielberg is obviously in love with the thingness of things – heavy telephones, newsprint and hair cream – the period doesn’t even fell right. It feels more fifties than seventies.
Part of the problem is that everything is centered around Streep as the publisher and owner of the paper. This sucks the drama from the picture. There’s no David and Goliath here. It’s more Goliath and a smaller Goliath with huge Maggie Thatcher hair and a series of night gowns. Christ almighty, can we get Meryl out of the night gowns for just five seconds please!?
Tom Hanks walks around like white bread made flesh. And all the events of great moment come down to a simple decision made by someone very rich who might become slightly less rich. And lose a couple of her politician friends.
Obviously, it’s unfair to compare the film to All the President’s Men, except the film actually does it itself.
So let’s just say it’s shitter than All the President’s Men.
HOLLYWOOD – Long-awaited sequel All the President’s Men 2 will star Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey.
All the President’s Men chronicled the fall of the Nixon administration through the Bernstein and Woodward investigation. The new sequel is to be directed by the Farrelly Brothers and will star Dumb and Dumber stars Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey. We talked to a Farrelly.
The idea is that we’re going to have an impeachment fairly soon so we wanted to be ahead of the curve. It struck us that with JIm and Jeff we have a cast that are very adept at improvisation, so we’re essentially starting with an outline and letting the cable news shows write the script for us.
So is it a comedy?
I’d say a tragi-comedy really. We get the drama and the politics we deserve. In the 70s you had Robert Redford and the nervy charm of Dustin Hoffman. Now we have the guys from Dumb and Dumber.
How similar will this be to Dumb and Dumber?
I wouldn’t say this is a Dumb and Dumber 3 exactly, but there are unavoidable similarities. Continuities. One of the things we will keep is the gross out humor. To tell the truth, that is kinda unavoidable.
How else will it differ from the original?
We took the view point of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the original but no such figures exist today. So we’re actually going to be approaching it from the other side. Jeff will play Sean Spicer and Jim is going to be Kellyanne Conway.
All the President’s Men 2 will be released in 2018.
Many of the better actors I’ve worked with over the years have what one can only describe as a love/hate relationship with journalists, but not me: I love them! Not the ones who say nasty things of course, they’re a bunch of untalented, lazy, useless shits, but the rest of them are jolly good chaps.
Journalists are always quite easy to spot because when you’re at an interview or a press conference, they’re the ones who tend to ask an awful lot of questions. I met one once who had a job writing articles for the newspapers, and he was fascinating. Apparently everything they come up with is actually based on a true story, so it’s not that different to being in the movies really. I’ll tell you who didn’t like journalists though, and that was Clark Gable.
If he saw one coming toward him in the street he’d hide in a doorway to avoid them. If that didn’t work he’d just punch them in the face and run off, but when he twisted his ankle teaching Edward G. Robinson the rhumba he had to get a bus instead. It wasn’t the same.
Playing a journalist in a picture isn’t too difficult, you just need to wear your shirt sleeves rolled up and undo your tie a bit. Dustin Hoffman once told me that he played one in All The President’s Men, but I don’t remember them being that small. Not one of the Munchkins ever played a journalist, so maybe he was pulling my leg. I’m not saying all journalists are giants, in fact most of the ones I’ve stopped to have a drink with have been what I’d call an average height, but you never ever see a short one. Apart from Danny DeVito in LA Confidential. And Tintin.
There was one occasion when a journalist treated me very shabbily indeed, and that’s when he misquoted me when I said Elizabeth Taylor was a witch. But that’s another story…