You know how when you go see a movie and it seems the director is always using the same actors over and over? Well here is a list of 10 pairs that need to just give each other a break and work with other people.
10. Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton (5 films together)
Helena Bonham Carter, believe it or not, used to be a distinguished actress who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in The Wings Of A Dove. Since with Burton, however, she only seems to find work in his films slumming around in creepy makeup. Apart from some appearances in the Harry Potter series, the actress hasnâ€™t made a notable splash outside the Burtonverse since 1999â€™s Fight Club and it seems like there is no slowing down this husband/wife movie making duo. Burton has three projects slated for production that will likely feature the quirky actress.
9. Denzel Washington and Tony Scott (4 films together)
Have you ever noticed a couple at a party and one person was so clearly out of the other personâ€™s league that it left you dumbfounded? This is the feeling I get every time Denzel Washington agrees to make another film with Tony Scott. Washington is one of the greatest actors of this generation, has two Oscars and is a considerable box office draw and yet he chooses to work so faithfully with the lesser of the Scott brothers (I was hoping that American Gangster would steer him in the direction of the more talented brother). There has to be some secret to their working relationship that keeps Washington coming back for more. Whatever it is, I hope Washington wises up and starts working with directors worthy of his talent as soon as possible.
8. Keira Knightley and Joe Wright (2 films together)
These two have only made 2 films together but their working relationship became stale somewhere around the middle point of Atonement. Perhaps the problem is that Keira Knightley seems to only play in period dramas (sheâ€™s done 5 in the last few years) and thus her work with Wright seems redundant? There were rumors that the two were going to take on My Fair Lady but luckily they abandoned that project. Knightley is marginally talented and Wright seems to have a good eye but unless the two of them break out of their comfort zones (each other), they will forever be pigeonholed into the realm of glossy period productions.
7. Tom Hanks and Ron Howard (4 films together)
Although their works have been spread out over 3 decades, the recent one-two punch of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons was enough to suggest these two go on permanent hiatus from each other. With the critical â€˜mehâ€™ that the first film received, I was shocked the sequel (based on the much less popular book) was ever greenlight in the first place. Hanks and Howard are both capable of producing good work but rarely do so together. Perhaps the two should look into doing another comedy a la their 1984 classic Splash?
6. Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almodovar (4 films together)
Itâ€™s hard to fault this pairing because most of their work together has been stunning but the Spanish duoâ€™s last film together, Broken Embraces, left a lot to be desired. Almodovar has always relied on muses and Cruz has served him well over the years but now seems like a good time for them to take a break from each other. Cruz has become a hot commodity in the US and Almodovar needs to take on a new direction. Interestingly, Almodovar is turning to one of his former muses, Antonio Banderas, for his next film.
5. Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott (5 films together)
Iâ€™m a big fan of Sir Ridley Scott but the â€˜Russell Croweâ€™ years have led to his most boring films as a director. Sure, their initial pairing (Gladiator) re-established Scott as an auteur and turned Crowe into a bonafide star but their subsequent pairings have done nothing for me as a viewer. With Scott setting his sights on 2 Alien prequels, it seems unlikely that he will find room for Crowe in those films but going back to a past success doesnâ€™t bode well for a reinvigoration of the directorâ€™s creative potential.
4. Scarlett Johansson and Woody Allen (3 films together)
Woody Allen does love his young blonde starlets, doesnâ€™t he? Sometimes he is able to garner fantastic performances out of them (Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite) but he hasnâ€™t had such luck with Ms. Johansson. Sheâ€™s starred in quite possibly his worst film to date (Scoop) and been the least interesting part in the better of his more recent efforts (Match Point and Vicky Cristina Barcelona). Now that the actress is over the age of 25 perhaps old Woody will grow tired of her and move on to younger stars to fill his creative void. Thatâ€™s the thing Allen loves about his stars, he gets older but they stay the same age.
3. Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass(3 films together)
If Green Zone proved one thing it is that Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon should probably avoid each other outside of the Bourne series if they donâ€™t want inevitable comparisons to their previous work. It would be hard not to draw those comparisons since the trademarks of the Bourne series are Greengrassâ€™ signature directing style and, of course, the appearance of Matt Damon. There are still rumors of these two doing a 4th Bourne film but if they plan to work together outside the series they are going to have to lay off the breakneck action sequences and go for something less recognizably Bourne. Perhaps a romantic comedy (with shaky cam)?
2. Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson (4 films together)
This is a duo who I wish would just take a break from filmmaking altogether. Jovovich is a stunning beauty but is one of the least talented actresses I have ever witnessed on screen. Anderson, similarly, is one of the least talented directors Iâ€™ve ever had the displeasure of seeing films by. When you put them together, you get one of the worst action-adventure-scifi franchises of the last twenty years, Resident Evil. With that series coming to an end this year, the director already has plans to cast his wife in his next feature; a 3D retelling of the Three Musketeers. Maybe theyâ€™ll get a divorce and spare us all their future collaborations?
1. Johnny Depp and Tim Burton (6 films together)
Itâ€™s hard to argue with success (their most recent film, Alice in Wonderland, has garnered their highest box office) but Tim Burtonâ€™s reliance on Depp has reached a level of near parody. Their collaborative efforts have become more and more predictable and the once exciting duo has been reduced to a bland mix of dayglow hot topic merchandise. Their last truly great film together was Ed Wood in 1994 and found both at their career best. It is possible for them to reclaim this glory but Burton is going to need to cast Depp more appropriately instead of dressing him up in garish make up and wigs and letting him run on autopilot.
This list would be 100% correct if they had of added Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese to this list. Is there any actor/director pairs you are sick of seeing working together?
source: 10 Director/Actor Pairings Who Need A Break [The Film Stage]