Gambit is an amazing movie. Just a brilliant, funny, great heist film, and so much of what makes it work rests on the shoulders of the two leads. Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine have incredible chemistry and play all of the film’s beats perfectly. Gambit is a balancing act of a movie, one where the first act is the part you don’t want to spoil for new people, and where everything that happens in acts two and three needs to be played in just the right, almost smirking way.
The remake of the film was looking good for a while - it is being written by the Coen Brothers (perfect!) and will star Colin Firth (very good!). But the latest casting announcement deflates all hope I have for the project: Cameron Diaz will play the MacLaine role.
I don’t think Diaz has what it takes. She has evolved into an actress who effortlessly annoys, as opposed to the natural charm of MacLaine. But what’s more she’s too broad - she doesn’t know how to modulate, and the goofiness that worked for her in There’s Something About Mary is antithetical to Gambit. This is a role that an Anne Hathaway could crush.
Sigh. I was really hoping that this remake would turn out well. The Coens were born to remake this movie. Now my hopes are feeling dashed.