Top Ten: Movie Partnerships

Two heads are better than one: Grace Duffy examines the more memorable meetings of minds/clashing of egos in movie historyDepp BurtonJohnny Depp and Tim BurtonOriginally the ultimate in weird chic cinema, the increasingly ubiquitous Depp and serial partner Burton have given the world some of its finest off-centre masterpieces. From the touching gothic fairytale Edward Scissorhands to the upcoming reworking of Alice in Wonderland… am I the only person who prefers the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?!Jack Lemmon and Walther MatthauBack when comedy didn’t mean puerile gross-out humour and Billy Wilder was weaving his magic upon celluloid, these two were the funniest thing since sliced bread. Sample dialogue: The Odd Couple – “You leave me little notes on my pillow. I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. Took me three hours to figure out F.U. meant Felix Ungar!” Masterly.Martin Scorcese and Robert de NiroCracking a smile is so last year. Until Scorcese decided to trade in De Niro for someone younger and prettier (thereby restoring DiCaprio’s street cred), this gruff twosome won infamy by atmospherically darkening our screens with aching portraits of troubled boxers and menacing gangsters. Cute is not what we aim for.Robert Redford and Paul NewmanA duo that made so many epic films, Redford named his film festival after one of the characters. The easy-on-the-eyes factor lingers to this day, as this is probably one of the few cinematic pairings you actually wouldn’t mind getting sandwiched between (overlooking the sad fact Newman is no longer with us).Steven Spielberg and John WilliamsThis one’s all about the music. Give Spielberg a screen and he will fill it with awesome spectacles of awesomeness, creating some of the most epic and lovable wonders in cinematic history. Give John Williams a piano and he will compose musical awesomeness to go with. Half the scare factor of Jaws, and the only appeal of A.I. True story.Russell Crowe and Ridley ScottWhen in doubt, go south – Antipodean way, that is. Russell’s smoking screen presence is almost unparalleled in his time, and together with Scott’s similarly pervasive vision, has allowed for feats of Gilded-era splendour to grace our screens. Even if their relationship of late has become a tad frosty, and the next splendiferous project due our way involves Russell in tights.Fran Walsh and Peter JacksonSingle-handedly disproving the mixing love-and-work adage, loveable (formerly) porky Peter Jackson and his equally eccentric-looking wife have combined their wit and vision on numerous occasions to leave us with both the sublime and the underrated. Not enough people have seen The Frighteners. Heavenly Creatures kick-started Kate Winslet’s career. Hobbits may shape the fortunes of all.Christopher Nolan and Christian BaleYes, mainly for Batman, although they made The Prestige too. Not content with reinvigorating The Caped Crusader as a gruff manlier-than-thou antihero in Batman Begins, Nolan then surpassed himself with the so-indescribably-fantastic-there-are-no-adjectives-left-to-do-it-justice The Dark Knight. What doesn’t kill us makes us stranger. Bale’s throaty Batman voice lost its appeal in the phlegm.Quentin Tarantino and Quentin TarantinoLike a ghost in the fog of his own unassailably cool dialogue, Quentin likes to pop up in his films from time to time to sample goings on the other side of the camera. If his performance in From Dusk to Dawn didn’t set skies alight, he makes up for it with scene-stealing moments such as gnawing on roadkill in Planet Terror. I could have mentioned a certain part of his anatomy melting in a later bit-part either, but we won’t get into that.David Cronenberg and Viggo MortensenThough only two films down the line, Viggo “the mature woman’s Lord of the Rings crush” Mortensen and David “The Fly” Cronenberg are paving a path of promise with Eastern Promises and A History of Violence. That and a taste for brutality.