Dear Dame Helen,
I have long loved you; you are one of the best actresses on the planet. You were a seductive yet terrifying Morgana in Excalibur, and you deserved every award there is for Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park. I cannot see Queen Elizabeth II without thinking of you, and your portrayal of Det. Jane Tennison is nothing short of legendary (how dare they remake Prime Suspect for American television!)
So with a heavy heart, I beg you to stop making movies. Because if you are just going to be in horrible horrible crap like a remake of Arthur (Arthur!), you might as well just give up. The original Arthur was light, fluffy, and completely forgettable. Yes, I know that there were a few sequels, but that was just to milk a cash cow completely dry. I’ve seen the original; it neither deserves nor needs a remake. Besides, if you are going to take on John Gielgud, does it really have to be for this role? This was his payback movie–not a great role, but just enough so that the Academy could award him with the Oscar he deserved many times before. You already have an Oscar, and you earned it the legitimate way: for giving the best performance of the year.
Admit it, you’re just coasting for a paycheck. The studios are using you. All you are really doing is lending your own hard-won credibility to movies that don’t deserve it. That will only cheapen you in the end. Let’s face it. Hollywood is not original. I know, I know it never has been, but over the last decade it has been particularly bad. All the studios are doing is making either big budget action/fantasy/comic book movies or cashing in on nostalgia by remaking movies from the 80’s that weren’t actually great the first time around.
I agree that you are too big for some cheap little indie flick, and I don’t want you to go from costume drama to costume drama, period piece to period piece. But Arthur? Is that really the best that you can do? You are too brilliant an actress, too luminous a star, for that. Please pick better roles so that I can start watching you onscreen again.
Your adoring fan,