(Screw invisi-text; spoilers for a movie you may not have seen ahead!)
I’m a sucker for animals, but I generally hate movies about animals even if they’re well made. When Paul Mazursky’s very good Harry and Tonto was released to DVD last year, I loathed having to rewatch it because, for all the nice character stuff it amounted to little more than waiting 110 minutes to watch the damn cat expire. Meanwhile, had Mazursky offed Art Carney instead, I wouldn’t have shed a solitary tear… unless Tonto discovered him dead and tried in vain to paw him awake. That would’ve destroyed me.
So I’m already dreading this new Taylor Hackford movie called Good Luck, Mr. Anthony about a South African game preserve owner who risked his life at the start of the Iraq War to save animals stranded in the Baghdad Zoo. According to Variety‘s Michael Fleming, by the time the titular Mr. Anthony reached the zoo, half of the animals were already dead, which means we’re going to see a bunch of emaciated or bullet-riddled lions and tigers and monkeys and shit that’ll reduce me to tears like a bitch watching Stella Dallas (or like a reincarnated Barbara Stanwyck watching Bette Midler in Stella). One caveat: if half of the dead animals are fish, I’m fine; but if you kill one dolphin, it’s over, man ("Fa loves Pa"). And if the Baghdad Zoo had a whale… I’ll change my tune and admit the Clinton-imposed sanctions weren’t working.
Another reason I’m dreading Good Luck, Mr. Anthony is screenwriter Aryman Bernstein, who co-wrote the simpleminded, thoroughly execrable (save for Denzel’s performance) The Hurricane. This time, Bernstein is collaborating with Terry Jastrow, who produced the 1972 Munich Olympics for ABC; this doesn’t make him a great scenarist, but I’d love to interview him. He’s also been married to Anne Archer for close to thirty years, so, through the 1980s, I’d love to have been him, too. As per the headline of this article, I also wouldn’t mind slipping into Hackford’s bedroom while he’s off directing and the above-pictured Oscar winner is… I’ll stop.
Beacon Pictures has the film set up at Disney, which will obviously distribute.