My Dinner With Ernest

Stevadore sends us the news that Anthony Hopkins will play Ernest Hemingway in a film called “Papa”. The film will depict the friendship between Hemingway and a young Korean War correspondent who looked up to him. They meet in Havana (Hemingway’s home base, in the years just before Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution), and Hopkins apparently gets to act up a storm in depicting the despair of an aging writer contemplating his eventual suicide.

Hemingway lived a cinematic life, but Anthony Hopkins is an old guy and obviously won’t attempt to reach into the author’s picturesque adventures in Europe and around the world in his booming 20’s and 30’s. It sounds like a talky film, which doesn’t jibe with my understanding of the Hemingway essence. In lit-film heaven, Orson Welles circa “Citizen Kane” would nail this role. Anthony Hopkins? I don’t know — it’s a stretch. The last famous face Hopkins tried to inhabit was Richard Nixon in Oliver Stone’s “Nixon”, and I don’t think he pulled off the transformation.

Hopkins as Hemingway. I’m not too hopeful — what about you?

13 Responses

  1. No IN LOVE & WAR
    No IN LOVE & WAR please!

    I’m still trying to think of who would be better, but I come up with nothing. What actor can fill those shoes?

    I’m hoping the movie has some flashback scenes to a younger Hemingway, so it gets a little action.

    You gotta figure Anthony Hopkins is a far cry from Chris O’Donnell in that IN LOVE AND WAR debacle — ugh! What a mess that one was.

  2. What aboutJ.K. Simmons? He
    What about

    J.K. Simmons? He played J. Jonah Jameson in Spiderman, but he was also in HBO’s Oz, so he has a serious side.

  3. How old do you want him?If
    How old do you want him?

    If it’s going to be based on Hemingway’s later years, who would you think would be a good choice for the role? (Living!) Hopkins played a fairly convincing Picasso in another film. Remember, it’s all about the content they have to work with too.

  4. Well, I’d like somebody a bit
    Well, I’d like somebody a bit more physical. Dennis Hopper, Charles Durning … I dunno. I think Anthony Hopkins is a great actor — especially in Remains of the Day and Howard’s End, both of which he was perfect for.

    But I think every actor tends to rely on a familiar bag of tricks, and Hopkins’ main trick is the steely-eyed gaze with the tremolous facial quiver. You know what I mean — he does it in every movie. It looks very intellectual and menacing, but I just don’t see Hemingway ever doing that particular move.

    It didn’t look good on Nixon either.

    Picasso, hmm … didn’t see that movie, maybe I’ll check it out. I’m definitely not meaning to beat on Hopkins, who as remarked above is clearly better than Tom Hanks and several others.

  5. Hopkin’s Picasso was a nearly
    Hopkin’s Picasso was a nearly perfect film which I saw twice, as I did Nixon. What I liked was that they both told a good tale and both fed my head. Stone must do it well to redeem himself after the Alexander flop. Also, Hopkins has some range. Personally, I’d sooner see a film about Ray Carver but he hasn’t been dead long enough or wasn’t famous enough.

  6. Michael Clarke DuncanYou
    Michael Clarke Duncan

    You know, that really big guy from The Green Mile. Yeah, I know. . . he’s black and Hemingway was white. But hear me out.

    Hollywood doesn’t give a shit about making a good movie about Hemingway. All Hollywood wants is money. A lot of money.

    In, I think it was, Daredevil, Duncan played The Kingpin, who was white in the comic books. In The Hitchhiker’s Guide. . . Mos Def played one of the main characters. Look, I read those books a long time ago and I can tell you with reasonable certainty that there was no black guy in there. Anyhwere.

    I’m not saying Duncan and Def aren’t fine actors. All I’m saying is that Hollywood wants a hip black guy for street cred. Why? To get more people to see the movie so the Hollywood fat cats can line their pockets with mas dinero.

    Sad? Yes. But true. So, yeah, you can get Hopkins and make a quality movie, or you can get Duncan and make a ton of dough. So if you’re a realist or a fan of Hemingway, it really doesn’t matter because they’re gonna screw it up anyway. And, while we’re at it. . . maybe they can get Michael Bey to direct it and then we can have Hemingway saving people from roaring German tanks and exploding hand grenades as he’s trying to write the last chapter to A Farewell to Arms. Now that I’d see!

  7. Hate To Say It… but I think
    Hate To Say It

    … but I think Sean Connery wouldn’t be a bad choice. I’m not sure about his range (was Hemingway ever a top agent for the British), but he is a man’s man, which is the one characteristic about Hemingway that comes to mind. And it is the one characteristic that is not typical of most authors. And I think they look a bit alike.

  8. Stacey KeachI think Hopkins
    Stacey Keach

    I think Hopkins is a fine actor, but I think casting him in this role is a mistake (remember Nixon?). Didn’t Stacy Keach of Mike Hammer fame play Hem in a TV movie or mini series back in the 80’s?

  9. Yes, you can read about it
    Yes, you can read about it here.
    But even Keach might be too old now, I don’t know.

  10. But, Hemingway was a real
    But, Hemingway was a real person. Daredevil’s Kingpin and the Galaxy characters are fictional. There’s a difference.

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