Two grumpy pieces on how one should be famous in the British press: Jan Etherington at the Telegraph has a long treatise on how leading men aren’t acting or looking their age, bemoaning Tom Cruise‘s gamboling around a London red carpet with fans and the Douglases getting plastic surgery:
The result is that sudden and radical â€œwind tunnelâ€ look â€“ not so much youthful as utterly scary. Take the Douglases pÃ¨re et fils. Have Kirk and Michael really done themselves any favours in their desperate attempts to stay young? Those oddly wide, wrinkle-free eyes, the unnaturally smooth cheeks.
Heh. But we’re distrustful of any article that holds up Jack Nicholson as an example of aging done right. Hadley Freeman at the Guardian‘s problem is that star mystique is gone. Freeman writes that "this probably reveals more about my own limitations than Brad Pitt‘s but, personally, I find it tough to see Pitt as Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James when I am force-fed supposed details of Pitt’s home life every time I walk into WH Smith." We actually buy into the argument made at the beginning of the article more â€” this film season is so earnest, so furrowed-brow (has any recent trailer looked less appealing than that of "Lions for Lambs"?) that many of these films neglect to make use of the star qualities of their presumed main attractions.
When I call this clip stunningly banal, I’m trying to offer
a compliment. There’s something as comforting as oatmeal in its refusal
to serve as a showbiz confessional, to gratify the thirst for tears and
sap. You might click it into existence feeling like a vultureâ€”a
scavenger preparing to snack on celebrity miseryâ€”but you come away
aware of yourself as a mildly bored human.
Very roughly related: William Grimes at the New York Times writes about Jeanine Basinger’s recently published "The Star Machine," which examines the way the studios would have budding actors "renamed, reshaped and taught how to speak and move in front of a camera," then tested out in the right kind of picture and, if it took, typecast.
+ The men behaving sadly (Telegraph)
+ Brad just ain’t box-office (Guardian)
+ Owen and Wes (Slate)
+ When the Studios Called the Shots, and the Close-Ups (NY Times)