All of that “pivotal role” stuff should also be considered alongside the unquestionable artistic merits of the film in its own right. Adopting a sepia-toned, desaturated look and feeling like it was made in, not just set in, the Great Depression, Bonnie & Clyde gave us outlaws to cheer for, sexual ambiguity, an intriguing commentary on celebrity and where it intersects with notoriety and career stand-out performances from Warren Beatty, Fay Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Gene Wilder and Shelley Winters.
So, it is with no small amount of anxiety that I hear tale of a remake. Look no further for an exemplary illustration of “if it ain’t broke…”, but here we go anyway. Neil Burger, who directed Limitless and the under-appreciated Ed Norton film, The Illusionist, is set to direct from a Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard, Up In The Air) script. Apparently the source material will not be the screenplay for the original, but instead a 2009 book that looked at the couple as an early example of media-fuelled celebrity worship an how the public’s appetite abated as the outlaws became progressively more violent.
Frankly, we’ve heard this “we’re looking at the story in a fresh way, giving it a new spin” spiel far too many times to be suckered in again, but perhaps I am being too harsh, blinded by my unwavering love for the original film. Up In the Air was an excellently written film and Burger seems to have some pedigree as a director. Who knows? More news as it surfaces. In the meantime, enjoy this reminder of what made the original so great.