Celine moaned about the lack of appreciation of Shakespeare. No one could relate to Gwyneth Paltrow, as "Shakespeare in Love" seemed like centuries ago. Hollywood filmmakers have imagined every possible update of Bard's plays, but I would stop on Kim Kardashian. She had millions of followers on social media. She could pass as Cleopatra. The purists couldn't do enough. Joss Whedon adapted "Much Ado About Nothing" a few years ago, which was so different from Kenneth Branagh's sensual approach to the comedy. I was thinking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who could be a good candidate for Juliet. Whedon might be tempted to cast a vampire for the role of Romeo, but he might opt for another character. Xander Harris perhaps. On the other hand, Veronica Mars might be perfect in the modern update of "Antony and Cleopatra". I kept these thoughts to myself, as Celine changed the subject right away. She was looking forward to Netflix's adaptation of Daniel Handler's series.
I always believed that "A Series of Unfortunate Events" was better on the small screen. Handler's books were released during the time when Harry Potter mania swept the literary world. As Count Olaf, Jim Carrey did his best. But the series have much to offer. Duncan and Isadora Quagmire were the most adorable twins I encountered, and they were among the handful of characters that made this series a blast. I wasn't thinking of Esme Squalo, who was able to come up with her unique version of the alphabet song. It was a repetitive tale of misfortune, where the Baudelaire kids were unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the story progressed, Handler took the series to a different level. The hilarious allusions to literary characters, who turned out to be patients at the Hostile Hospital. Absurdist fiction was never better than this one. And how the final novel took a Biblical turn. Neil Patrick Harris, who would play Olaf in the series, could navigate through all of these.
The return of Hitchcock
It was my turn, as I moaned about the lack of appreciation Hitchcockian thriller. I haven't read "The Girl on the Train", but I have no intention of watching the celluloid version (starring Emily Blunt). Tate Taylor won't be the first one to do another Hitchcockian thriller. As a matter of fact, the current trend would feature a slick opening, a possible nod to Orson Welles. (The opening shot of "Touch of Evil" was probably the best opening scene in the history of cinema.) The characters were introduced, one by one, with missing pieces of information that would intrigue the viewers. There seemed to be a problem until the dead body or two would confirm it. And then it was the downfall from there. The director would lead the viewers into a goose chase, only to find out that the joke was on them. And it was all in the lead character's (twisted) head.
It would remind me of the most memorable climactic scenes in Hitchcock's films. A cat-and-mouse chase in Mount Rushmore (North by Northwest). A recurring dream that would turn out to be the missing piece in a murder case (Spellbound). And an unlikely end to a winter holiday (The Lady Vanishes). They don't make this kind of films anymore.