You’d think that making (mostly) perfect films on an almost-yearly basis would leave Joel and Ethan Coen little time to script other people’s movies. And yet, here is a trailer for Gambit, a remake of the 1966 Michael Caine/Shirley MacLaine comedy of the same name, which was given to the Coens to write way back in 2003 and attached to several directors — including Alexander Payne and Robert Altman — at various times. The man who finally ended up making the film is Michael Hoffman, whose unusual career has included such films as Soapdish, Restoration, The Emperor’s Club, and most recently 2009’s The Last Station. His version stars Colin Firth as an art curator plotting to dupe his horrible boss (Alan Rickman) into buying a faux Monet, with the help of a cowgirl played by Cameron Diaz. The delightful Cloris Leachman, Tom Courtenay, and Stanley Tucci round out the cast.
Judging by the trailer, the wit and playfulness with which the Coens approach comedy made it into Hoffman’s version. The wackiness factor is high, Firth is endearingly disheveled, Diaz’s accent is appropriately campy, Tucci is doing his artiste thing, and Rickman is briefly naked (in a SFW kind of way). Even if we might have preferred to see the Coens behind the camera, we’ll go along for this ride. Let us know if you agree.