Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't you ever imagine things differently from what they are?

Yesterday MPF and I went to see the Coen brother’s remake of the Charles Portis novel (and John Wayne classic) True Grit. It was a very good film that we be both enjoyed very much. Having never read the novel or seen the original movie, though, I can’t say whether the remake does either justice.

I can say, however, that the new True Grit led to the following revelation: Hailee Steinfeld should be the next Anne of Green Gables.

Can't you just see this girl smashing a slate over Gilbert's head?

Many of you know that I am a great lover of all things Anne. While I adore the 1985 made for television version (which was just re-released in widescreen HD… my copy is on the way) I can’t help but imagine the wonders that modern day cinema could do with a story as classic as Anne’s.

Recently, literary delights such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre have made a comeback in Hollywood. In the case of P&P, the story was retold in a manner that allowed this timeless classic to reach new audiences.

Which begs the question: why not Anne of Green Gables?

The last time LM Montgomery’s story appeared on the silver screen was 1934. It was so successful it launched the career of a little known actress named Dawn Paris who later legally changed her name to that of the title character: Anne Shirley. Similarly, PBS routinely showcases a variety of timeless stories on its Masterpiece program. And yet what do you inevitably see nearly every year during public television pledge time? An Anne of Green Gables marathon featuring the previously mentioned 1980’s made-for TV movie.

It is, in fact, the Kevin Sullivan produced television version that could be causing all the trouble. The roll of Anne, played by Megan Follows, was so well cast that anyone who tries to take her place will have big shoes to fill.

Megan Follows:the classic Anne.

Well, maybe Hollywood doesn’t think there is an actress with enough spirit to play Anne Shirley but I disagree. Ms. Steinfeld, the 14-year-old actress who is nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Mattie Ross in True Grit, has not only the pluck but the braids needed to make a successful Anne.

Carrots? Nobody calls me Carrots!

In the new version of True Grit, the character of Mattie Ross is much like Anne Shirley. A headstrong, willful young woman with grace and poise beyond her years (all of which Ms. Steinfield captured beautifully). She is also whip smart, has a fast tongue, and won’t take no for an answer.

And ok, Ms. Steinfeld doesn’t have red hair. But this is 2011; do we really need a natural red head to play Anne? It’s called hair dye and I bet Ms. Steinfeld knows how to use it.

I have no idea if there is even an ounce of interest in Hollywood to remake Anne of Green Gables. But if there is, I hope (pray) that the powers that be consider Ms. Steinfeld for the pivotal role of Anne.

As for the rest of the cast, I will leave that up to you: who do you think should star in an Anne of Green Gables remake?


Josh said...

My favorite part of this post was that I started it without having finished my coffee, and so did not notice the byline, and the second paragraph is delightful if you imagine Mike having written it.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a beautiful idea. Hailee Steinfeld reminded me so much of Anne too... and while I am so attached to Megan Follows I do think Anne of Green Gables deserves a lot more attention. Bringing it to the big screen and having everyone fall in love with it again... would be amazing. :)

Jessica G said...

I searched Google hoping someone else thought she would make the perfect Anne, and there you were. One of my first thoughts watching True Grit was, "They need to make a new Anne of Green Gables immediately!" I want it to happen so much.