Tuesday, October 20, 2009

[insert Tourist pun here]

I really, really liked Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's The Lives of Others. It was one of my top five from 2007 and I'm definitely on its side when it comes to debates between it and Pan's Labyrinth, the movie many people say was "robbed" by Lives for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award. However, here brings up a major issue. The Lives of Others was so good than von Donnersmarck is moving to Hollywood to make a movie starring Sam Worthington and Angelina Jolie. Call me skeptical.

In a move that puts Angelina Jolie starrer "The Tourist" on track for a February production start, director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck has emerged as the top choice to direct the Spyglass thriller.

While von Donnersmarck hasn't formally entered into negotiations yet, studios are expected to begin jockeying for the film that is likely to be ready for a 2011 release.


If a deal comes to fruition, "The Tourist" would be the first for von Donnersmarck since the German helmer's 2006 breakout "The Lives of Others," which won the Academy Award for foreign-language film.

Now, as it says above von Donnersmarck hasn't officially been signed on to direct the film, which was previously to star Charlize Theron, but there you go. I worry about him, I really do. There number of foreign directors that have moved on to Hollywood product directly after their breakthrough and been engulfed by mediocrity and flops is becoming longer and longer. In recent years we have had the likes of Oliver Hirschbiegel who went from Oscar-nominated Downfall to The Invasion. How about Gavin Hood who won the Oscar for Tsotsi and then made Rendition and Wolverine. Susanne Bier directed Oscar-nominee After the Wedding and then got lost with Things We Lost in the Fire and I bet you forgot that Walter Salles went from such acclaimed foreign titles like Central Station (Oscar-nominated) and The Motorcycle Diaries to horror flop Dark Water.

I would have preferred von Donnersmarck to remain in Germany and build up an enviable reputation abroad instead of instantly moving to Hollywood to direct a movie that, in case you weren't aware, is a remake of a French film in itself. Gah! Craziness. Of course, we'll find out in 2011 if he's made it good or if it was all a mistake. I hope it's the former, but can't help and feel that it will be the latter.


elgringo said...

Jolie? *sobs*

The Lives of Others has been on my To-See list for a while now. I haven't been avoiding it, just haven't gotten around to watching it. Between this one and May you've seen all the movies I've been meaning to watch.

El Gringo

Guy said...

I agree that the Von Donnersmarck project smells funny.

Still, but for the sake of balance, there's always Ang Lee to give foreign-crossover directors hope. And "Blindness" notwithstanding, many would count Fernando Meirelles as a positive recent example, though I personally thought "The Constant Gardener" a tad dull.

Glenn Dunks said...

Yes, I liked Gardener, but I know many who did not. I think I thought Blindness was alright. I dunno, it was a while back now and I guess it wasn't that memorable.

Boyd said...

The original French movie is a slick, kinetic one-trick pony that felt like a Hollywood movie even though it was in French and starred Sophie Marceau. It's very enjoyable if you don't immediately guess the story's lone twist (I didn't). I wonder if there's anything beyond that that von D can bring to the table...