’70s cinema: the new wave stars and their modern-day counterparts (PART 2)

The comparisons – and possible blasphemy considering your take on these guys and gals – continues. Here are few more stars, from the decade that was, and their modern complements.

Robert Redford to Jake Gyllenhaal – Though his fame over the past couple decades has been primarily through the Sundance Film Festival and his later directorial efforts, Redford’s pretty-boy charms and romantic flair got him his break in 1967’s Barefoot in the Park and 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. He went on to star in some of the most enduringly popular films of the decade, The Way We Were (1973), The Sting (1973), The Great Gatsby (1974), and All the President’s Men (1976). Gyllenhaal may’ve gotten started as a child star thanks to his director/producer parents, but his true break-out came as an uneasy sex symbol in The Good Girl (2002) – though his indie beginnings came two years earlier before with the now-cult-classic Donnie Darko (2001). Since, Gyllenhaal has eked out a similar career to Redford’s as the romantic lead in Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Love and Other Drugs (2010), as well as the central character in thrillers such as Zodiac (2007) and Brothers (2009).
Most Desired Remake – Jake Gyllenhaal in The Sting

Diane Keaton to Ellen Page – In the unlikeliest of scenarios, gawky but lovable Keaton became a symbol of ideal ’70s womanhood thanks to collaborations with Woody Allen – particularly Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) – and her performances in the Godfather films as uneasy future matriarch to the Corleone family. And though probably their easiest comparison is their penchant for rocking traditionally malecentric clothing, Keaton and Page might yet travel a similar path. Though Page’s big break came in the form of a divisive anti-hero in Hard Candy (2005), she’s become an ideal of sorts for the hipster tomboy in her own right. She donned the lah-dee-dah Keaton attitude in 2007’s Juno and 2009’s Whip It, and her recent dip into the dramatic thriller venue – a la 2010’s Inception – insinuates a possible Godfather/Reds in her near future. Oh, and that entire wardrobe in 2008’s Smart People had to be borrowed from Keaton’s one-time closet.
Most Desired Remake – Ellen Page in Baby Boom (I know, utterly bizarre, but wouldn’t you pay to see a Page-inspired modern take on this ultra-shoulder-padded ’80s classic?)

Al Pacino to Ryan Gosling – Taking on some of the most iconic characters of the ’70s, Pacino and de Niro (featured in the previous post) sort of owned the decade for the men. With a flair for the dark and brooding, Pacino nailed both Godfather films (I like to pretend the third doesn’t exist) and turned Serpico (1973) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975) into enduringly important works both then and now. He’s perhaps the most courageous actor of the decade in terms of choosing characters that have some seriously disturbing flaws. Though Gosling had some television roles as a teen – most notably Young Hercules, if you’ll recall – and has dipped into the saccharine at times (case in point, 2004’s The Notebook), his best work has come from obscure and often troubling roles, much like Pacino before him. Half Nelson (2006), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), and assumedly Blue Valentine (2010) feature Gosling in abnormal and sometimes disturbing positions. And they’ve both got that makes-you-uneasy scowl down to an art.
Most Desired Remake – Ryan Gosling in Dog Day Afternoon (and I’ll take suggestions on who should take the John Cazale part)

Woody Allen to Emma Stone – Wait, wait – before you pishaw this, hear me out. If you think about it in terms of acting, I may not be as crazy as you first thought. Sure, Allen is most notable for his writing and directing, but he happened to star in a lot of his most notable ’70s films, so he makes the list as a result. Without his acting work as neurotic geeks in Bananas (1971), Annie Hall (1977), and Manhattan (1979), goofballs of the new wave would’ve avoided an entire new subset of male lead that is ever-present even today – the the funny-looking-but-funny romantic interest. Now, it’s not to say that Stone is at all funny-looking, but if her impressive comedic timing is any indication of her abilities in playing neurotic, she could be on the right track. Through Superbad (2007) and Easy A (2010), she’s proven to be a great comedienne, and, if anyone bothered seeing The House Bunny (2008), you’ll also know that she can be quite convincing and totally lovable as the awkward geek. So, no, she’s not headed toward screenwriting or directing as far as I know, but dammit if Emma Stone doesn’t have a little bit of the eccentric comedy stylings of Woody Allen.
Most Desired Remake – Emma Stone in Hank and His Brothers (a gender-opposing take on 1986’s Hannah and Her Sisters – don’t you think Stone could play the semi-obnoxious hypochondriac Mickey to greatness?)

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2 responses to “’70s cinema: the new wave stars and their modern-day counterparts (PART 2)”

  1. Robert says :

    I love it! I feel like your comparisons are very true…Ellen Page as a new Diane Keaton seems to ring especially true. And I actually see where you're coming from on the Emma Stone/Woody Allen thing. It makes sense! Haha

  2. Simon says :

    Emma Stone could play anything to greatness. She's delightful.

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