You Make the Call Game: Weinstein MANIA!
In honor of the Weinsteins raising a bajillion dollars to fund their Ben-Affleck-enabling indie empire, today's "You Make the Call" Game features an amazing, sure-to-be-Oscar-gold indie film in the fine tradition of "Reindeer Games", "Scary Movie" and "Underclassman". [yeah, check out Harvey's IMDB resume while you're at it. It's got like 180 movies on it! Crazy, yo!] Actually, I kinda liked "Reindeer Games"** ya know. What with all the . . . games. And the reindeer.
So about the movie you're doing. . .
This is an expertly-written interracial love story set against the backdrop of the social turmoil of early 1960s San Francisco. The woman is an uptight-but-gets-more-chill-as-the-movie-goes-on ad copywriter exec-ish person and her lover is an aging [well, for the occupation] jazz musician-turning-nightclub-owner trying to kick heroin. It's like that awful Ewan-Renee "Down With Love", but dramatic and not stupid. And since you're the Weinsteins, everything you touch turns to Oscar gold.
THE FEMALE LEAD: Scarlett Johansson Vs. Mena Suvari Vs. Anna Faris Vs. Natalie Portman
Who needs a Best Actress Statuette the most right now? And more importantly, who has the chops to get one?
Scarlett Johansson has her indie cred down pat thanks to "Lost in Translation", but will her recent "Island" flop drag her down? There's one thing I do know. No one is dragging those perky breasts down anytime soon. Not gravity, not anyone.
Mena Suvari had a red-hot career following "American Beauty", but it's cooled somewhat since then. However, as the Official Abbot-Kinney Celebrity Mascot she may experience a resurgence. But I guess that may be up to you.
You'd recognize Anna Faris from the Weinstein-produced "Scary Movie" franchise, and maybe from "Lost in Translation" where she stole some scenes from Scarlett. In my humble opinion, she's among the most underrated actresses in town, but she's done a lot of crap in her time. Will you forgive her? Will Oscar?
And then there's Natalie Portman. I've loved Natalie since "The Professional" and she hasn't let me down since. No, not even in Star Wars. I mean, come on, no one could've made that dialogue come alive. Anyway, Natalie's bankable, she scored a nomination for Best Supporting Actress with Closer, and she's classy and smart for a young starlet. Could you be the casting angel that gets her the Oscar she deserves?
THE MALE LEAD: Terrence Howard Vs. Mos Def Vs. Colin Salmon Vs. Taye Diggs
Terrence Howard may not Hustle & Flow his way to an Oscar this year, but what about next? Remember, you've got that golden touch-- choose carefully who you annoint.
Mos Def has been steadily acquiring acting chops since at least "Bamboozled", and was almost universally-praised for his roles until his recent stumble with "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Does Mos have what it takes to be a leading man?
Colin Salmon is one of Britain's most awesome actors, but he's a fairly obscure choice for most American audiences. Or is he? Side note: The roomie has been trying to get me to watch the British series "Hex" that he got from the torrents. I tried watching the first episode of the second season, but I couldn't get past lead Christina Cole's nostrils.
Of these men, Taye Diggs has probably had the fewest opportunities to showcase his acting skills, but he's mostly done a good job in the stuff he's been in. Upcoming, he's got Rent, which, since I've seen twice- once on Broadway, once off- I'm kinda lukewarm about paying $10 to see as a movie. He's also got "Cake", which will suck because The Original Boobs McPhee is in it. So does Taye have the acting cojones to be the next Denzel?
The Bad Guy: Peter Sarsgaard Vs. Daniel Craig Vs. Mark Wahlberg Vs. Wentworth Miller
This is the a-hole jerk ex-boyfriend of the female lead. He's a cocky, oily, sumbitch businessman who's both annoying and charming.
Peter Sarsgaard, the young prince of indie cinema hasn't ever done a bad job, that I've seen. He's chameleonic [see his characters from Garden State and Kinsey] and he's due for some major recognition. His tendency to blend does limit his appeal, but remember this is a supporting role so he could blend to shine. Or something. I dunno, but he won't screw up the movie, that's for sure.
Daniel Craig, now that he's got Bond, according the law of the celebrity clusterf*ck, he should get a bunch of other roles, too. But he's on here because he was a perfect evil a-hole in "Road to Perdition" and now he's got the starpower to get a role in an Oscar contender- right?
Mark Wahlberg has a ton of projects on the docket, but I don't see why he can't handle one more, considering it might make him forget to produce Entourage, which I think could only help the show. And he's been after those slightly crazy bad guy roles ever since he got taken over by his evil beard in "Four Brothers".
And though he has the least cachet, Wentworth Miller has gained at least a bit of star traction. Is it enough to back up two dynamos? And does he have the acting chops or is "Prison Break" just his flash in the pan? I guess it's up to you.
Now, those are the three main parts, although the default "Best Supporting Actress" role would fall to the female lead's older sister. So feel free to cast a sister for the female lead if you want, too. Give a shout-out to someone who can act and needs the work. Comment lines are standing by. . .