There are so many excellent movie duos out there. Magneto and Charles. Neal and Del. Harry and Lloyd. Susan and David. Norman and Norma. Jules and Vincent. Vincent and Max. Thelma and Louise. Damiel and Marion. Jay and Silent Bob. Joel and Clementine. Clarice and Hannibal. Celie and Nettie. Bruce and Alfred. Dad and Junior. Mason and Goodspeed. Young-goon and Il-sun. Threepio and R2. Blade and Whistler. Rachel and Frank. Wayne and Garth. Lieberman and Mengele. Riggs and Murtaugh. Harold and Maude. Raph and Casey. Faye and Cop 663. Marty and Doc. Doc and Clara. Cliff and Peevy. Martin and Clifford. John and Tars. Powell and Caulder. Like ensembles, quartets, or trios, duos can be truly epic in their own ways. There's nothing like watching two characters develop through one another. There also seem to be almost just as many great movie duos based on real life. I don't mean placing H.G. Wells (or Mengele for that matter) in a story surrounded by fictional charactersI mean shaping a movie around real events and focusing on real duos who lived them. Regardless of how true these kinds of movies are, it's fascinating whenever a movie pulls off the dynamic well. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Elephant Man, Monster, The Fighter, Cleopatra, Silkwood, Rosewood, Lawrence of Arabia, Bonnie and Clyde, and Lincoln all contain prominent duos and are frequently among the first to receive such praise. But there are other great duos based on real life out there too, and they could use more of our attention. The 12 on this list alone are unforgettable in my book.
The Last Temptation Of Christ (Jesus & Judas): The "real" part is up for debate on this one, but this movie's complex take on the life of Jesus makes the most of a great opportunity by using the relationship between Jesus and Judas as one of its core elements. The meanings behind their close friendship in relation to their history, their decisions, and what we think we know about them as people come together to prompt some interesting notions. Defiance (Tuvia & Zus): Movies are full of quarreling brothers (and why is the large one always the tough one?), but Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber have such excellent chemistry and take the audience on a remarkable, well-constructed journey of not just survival, but strength and inspiration. Finding Neverland (Sir James Matthew Barrie & Sylvia Llewelyn Davies): Thankfully, Finding Neverland uses these characters to explore a much more nuanced relationship than many of those we're used to seeing in Hollywood. Barrie and Davies have much more in their lives than their individual whims, even in a movie about Peter Pan, and it's played and paced wonderfully, culminating in a very moving, real-life act of particularly notable kindness. A Dangerous Method (Freud & Jung, Jung & Sabina): Psychoanalysis is a fun time to begin with, and A Dangerous Method uses it very skillfully, especially in both pairs of lead charactersthe debates between Jung and Freud getting to the bottom of what makes one another and the world tick (and politics!), while Jung and Sabina address the social and professional roles that collide with those ticks. The movie succeeds in spades, because as it explores these ideas, it never forgets the characters' complexities as people. The Aviator (Howard & Kate): From their swaggers to their distinct public eccentricities, these two are interesting to watch right away. But this story certainly takes a different turn and brings the characters to places other than expected, doesn't it?