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Which Sherlock Holmes are you?

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On 9/17/2019 at 9:25 AM, Hikari said:

Martin Freeman is perfect for both roles.  We couldn't say that about just anybody.  Can you see Jude Law as a Hobbit? 

Quite frankly, I have trouble seeing Jude Law as Watson!  He does look remarkably like the Paget illustrations, but I see very little of ACD's Watson in him (and it's only the mustache that bears any resemblance to his description in Milverton).  There's good reason why the screen Watsons (e.g., Bruce, Burke, and Hardwicke) bear a certain physical resemblance to one another -- it's because they all look like Watson!  (Admittedly, Law is playing the young Watson, whereas those others played him in middle age.)

As for the other Watsons I mentioned, I can envision them as hobbits, and perhaps even as Bilbo in his later years.  But when the inevitable movie remakes come along in twenty years or so, I'm hoping to see Martin Freeman as the LotR Bilbo.

On 9/17/2019 at 9:25 AM, Hikari said:

Having enjoyed the animated Bilbo from the children's animation in the 1970s, I always pictured a live-action Hobbit as somewhat hairier, perhaps....

Are you talking about the animation where Bilbo is voiced by Orson Bean?  I've never seen that -- would you recommend it?  And when you say "hairier," are you primarily talking about their feet?

That's the problem with live-action hobbits -- their feet should be proportionately the same size as a human's, and then covered with thick curly hair.  But when you're dealing with human actors who need to run "barefoot" through the wilds of New Zealand, you need to provide them with sturdy boots that merely look like bare feet, and of course those boots need to fit over their own feet, meaning they need to be a good bit larger.  And if they were then covered with thick fur -- well, that would look kinda silly.  I think Jackson did about as well as could be done, but in the aforementioned remake, I hope they let the actors wear normal boots and use CGI to create authentic hobbit feet.

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39 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

As for the other Watsons I mentioned, I can envision them as hobbits, and perhaps even as Bilbo in his later years.  But when the inevitable movie remakes come along in twenty years or so, I'm hoping to see Martin Freeman as the LotR Bilbo.

:wub: Now I so want to see that.

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46 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Quite frankly, I have trouble seeing Jude Law as Watson!  He does look remarkably like the Paget illustrations, but I see very little of ACD's Watson in him (and it's only the mustache that bears any resemblance to his description in Milverton).  There's good reason why the screen Watsons (e.g., Bruce, Burke, and Hardwicke) bear a certain physical resemblance to one another -- it's because they all look like Watson!  (Admittedly, Law is playing the young Watson, whereas those others played him in middle age.)

As for the other Watsons I mentioned, I can envision them as hobbits, and perhaps even as Bilbo in his later years.  But when the inevitable movie remakes come along in twenty years or so, I'm hoping to see Martin Freeman as the LotR Bilbo.

Are you talking about the animation where Bilbo is voiced by Orson Bean?  I've never seen that -- would you recommend it?  And when you say "hairier," are you primarily talking about their feet?

That's the problem with live-action hobbits -- their feet should be proportionately the same size as a human's, and then covered with thick curly hair.  But when you're dealing with human actors who need to run "barefoot" through the wilds of New Zealand, you need to provide them with sturdy boots that merely look like bare feet, and of course those boots need to fit over their own feet, meaning they need to be a good bit larger.  And if they were then covered with thick fur -- well, that would look kinda silly.  I think Jackson did about as well as could be done, but in the aforementioned remake, I hope they let the actors wear normal boots and use CGI to create authentic hobbit feet.

I guess I can see Edward Hardwicke as a Hobbit.  He was a somewhat roly poly not terribly tall man.  Nigel Bruce was, I believe, quite a large man in both girth and height.  He might have made a good Bombur.

Frankly, I can't see David Burke as a Hobbit.   To me he represents the older version of Jude Law's portrayal, the vigorous soldier, just in midlife.  Nigel Bruce and Basil Rathbone were my reference points for years with these two characters.  Then I read the Canon and saw how woefully mistreated Dr. Watson has been on film.  You are not the first person who has said that Jude Law doesn't seem like Watson to you, despite his remarkable resemblance to the Paget illustrations . . maybe it's because his Watson is so competent, it throws viewers who've been accustomed to seeing Watson exploited as the buffoonish comedy relief, taking pratfalls in buckets and so forth?

I feel protective of Watson, who is not a buffoon in any sense.  He's not as smart as Holmes, but I'd wager that he's the smartest man in  a room that does not contain a Holmes.  He's a skilled surgeon, not a dummy.  I think Jude portrayed this very well.  Smarts, athleticism, courage, and a magnetic draw for the ladies . . Jude ticks all the boxes.  Nigel, God bless him, doesn't tick any of them.  Sherlock Holmes would never have condescended to hang out with such a dolt, would he?    The Doctor tends to be very self-deprecating as he narrates the stories, downplaying his own role and contributions, and so the mythos of him as a genial idiot has sprung up, despite the fact that Holmes would never have tolerated such a person.

Colin Blakely from TPLOSH might have passed as a Hobbit, though I see him more Dwarflike . . Thorin, perhaps.  Sir James Mason . .definitely not Hobbit material.  It helps to be really short, and only Martin Freeman fits that bill.

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7 hours ago, Hikari said:

You are not the first person who has said that Jude Law doesn't seem like Watson to you, despite his remarkable resemblance to the Paget illustrations . . maybe it's because his Watson is so competent, it throws viewers who've been accustomed to seeing Watson exploited as the buffoonish comedy relief, taking pratfalls in buckets and so forth?

No, not in my case.  Pre-BBC-Sherlock, I was most familiar with Burke and Hardwicke as Watson, and they hardly portray him as a buffoon.  It's just that A} I have a hard time imagining Jude Law growing up to look like either of them, and B} his Watson seems to have a different personality from theirs -- though possibly he's written that way because he's younger?

Frankly, I don't consider resemblance to the drawings to be terribly relevant to choosing an actor for Watson, simply because Paget doesn't seem to have used any input from ACD, with the result that in my opinion, Watson's verbal descriptions of himself bear far more resemblance to the real-life author than to the illustrations.

7 hours ago, Hikari said:

Sir James Mason . .definitely not Hobbit material.  It helps to be really short, and only Martin Freeman fits that bill.

In a live-action movie, any hobbits will of course be played by human actors, who are virtually all far taller than real hobbits.  So the production team needs first to decide on a scale, so that all their hobbits will be in the same general height range.  Therefore hobbits don't actually have to be played by "really short" actors, or even shortish ones (though Jackson's hobbit actors were all medium-short, 5'6" or 5'7").  Tolkien describes hobbits in this way:  "... smaller than Dwarves: less stout and stocky, that is, even when they are not actually much shorter," and Jackson's hobbits and dwarves do overlap in height.

I think the main physical consideration is that actors playing hobbits or dwarves mustn't be lanky!

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On 9/18/2019 at 3:12 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

That's the problem with live-action hobbits -- their feet should be proportionately the same size as a human's, and then covered with thick curly hair.

Unless the hobbit is one of the Proudfeet. :D 

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