Saturday, May 19, 2018

Angry fanning D.D.L.

Stare at something long enough, it's bound to piss you off.

I mean, think about how many Sherlockians come into the hobby because they love stories about Sherlock Holmes, read every Sherlock Holmes thing they can, and then eventually start hating on pastiches because they all do the same things over and over.

We just weren't meant to keep our eyes focussed in one direction all the time. Sure, we want to look at the view that gave us pleasure a second time, and a third. We're hard-wired to return to a source of satisfaction. We can't help it. But inevitably, you go to that well too many times out of habit, and then get angry because it isn't the same bountiful well it was thirty years before.

With that preface, let me say a few things about Daniel Day Lewis.

I hate Daniel Day Lewis.

I go to see movies every week. Daniel Day Lewis makes a movie every two to three years. Already, we have a slight issue. I seem to remember liking him in 1992's The Last of the Mohicans, but past that, he hasn't really done anything that made me want to buy a ticket just to see a movie for him alone. He's the British-born son of a poet laureate and the actress-daughter of a studio head, who has played so many Americans that I don't think of him as having an English accent.

And for twenty-five @#&%ing years now, people have been saying he should play Sherlock Holmes.

The dude does one movie every two or three years and is not going to take a role so commercial that Robert Downey Jr.  did a three-movie series from it. What's D.D.L. got left in him, now that he's sixty? About six or seven more movies, if he doesn't slow down even further? And Ian McKellen has grabbed the best old man Holmes story for this generation already.

Besides, old man Holmes? We finally . . . finally . . . get a Sherlock Holmes young enough to be A Study in Scarlet appropriate, he's wildly popular, and going back to middle-aged and older Sherlocks is something we think is a good idea? Really, I think Daniel Day Lewis would be happier playing Josiah Amberly, a miserable old man, that Lewis could just act the hell out of. Give us a younger actor we haven't noticed before as Sherlock and let D.D.L. win an Oscar for the story of a weepy widower who was betrayed by the two people closest to him.

That's what the Oscar crowd wants anyway -- adaptations of Victorian tales that focus on miserable folk like Lady Brackenstall or Hilton Cubitt. (If you can't win an Oscar with a character named "Hilton Cubitt," you just aren't trying. It's the "Reynolds Woodcock" of the Canon.)

Wait . . . excuse me for a moment, I just learned that Daniel Day Lewis was in The Unbearable Lightness of Being before I knew who he was. I still remember that day. That theater. My two companions, one of whom talked us into seeing that thing. It was the seasonal affective part of the winter of 1988, and . . . but I digress. The Unbearable Lightness of Being . . . grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I would pay full IMAX ticket price, complete with a full tub of popcorn and bucket of soda, to see George Clooney in the Sherlockian equivalent of Batman and Robin before I would set foot in a living room with a Daniel Day Lewis Sherlock Holmes movie playing on Netflix. I would binge-watch all of CBS's Elementary with a full commentary track by Nigel Bruce's Watson, who would not even understand what he was seeing and probably go off on a reminiscence of getting his hand caught in a cookie jar, before I would let a YouTube video with a "You can skip this video in 5 . . . 4 . . . . 3 . . ." play a D.D.L. Sherlock movie preview for those five finger-on-the-skip-button seconds. I would even go so far as to start kung fu fighting in that levitating Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon style with every single Sherlockian who says the words "All Sherlock is good Sherlock!" on principle alone after Daniel Day Lewis won the best actor Oscar for playing Sherlock Holmes, because, hey, we're in a fantasy world now and I have crazy ninja skills.

So, you see, basically, being a Sherlockian for a very long time has its side effects, not all of them pretty. It's like staring at the sun for too long, except with fits of rage instead of devastating blindness. Fortunately, today is Saturday, and I can wander off and do non-Sherlock things for a time and regain my composure, possibly even letting Daniel Day Lewis's prospective future roles give light to some other Sherlockians' hope for the future of film.

But about that royal wedding . . . .

1 comment:

  1. "Daniel Day Lewis's prospective future roles..."

    Perhaps, but in November 2017 he announced that he's retiring from films.