Carrie Rickey:

Bale is 40 years old. Onscreen for 28 years, he’s been starring in feature films nearly as long as Barrymore (32 years), Daniel Day-Lewis (also 32 years), and Tom Hanks (30 years). Unlike those performers, who almost always play leads, Bale is the prince of ensemble movies, feeding off the actors around him, elevating their performances as they electrify his. Excepting American Psycho and The Machinist, where he is the lead, Bale is an accomplished team player. It’s typical for Bale to play a role like G-man Melvin Purvis to Johnny Depp’s sensual John Dillinger in Public Enemies, or a haunted, prosthetic-legged bounty hunter to Russell Crowe’s charismatic, nimble outlaw in 3:10 To Yuma, or the introverted fanboy dazzled by glam-rock extroverts Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Velvet Goldmine. Even when he’s the eponymous character in the Dark Knight trilogy, he’s one in the ensemble.

Crazy to think that Bale’s career is nearly as long as those of Day-Lewis and Hanks (Barrymore, of course, was also a child star). And what a career it’s turning out to be. No question he’ll win another Oscar when all is said and done.

In fact, the main thing holding him back from another Best Actor award may be his reluctance to take true leading roles. Christian Bale is someone who absolutely could be a Tom Cruise-type movie star. But he chooses not to be. As Rickey points out, even the Dark Knight trilogy isn’t your typical formulaic movie star stuff. The closest he got to that may be the awful Terminator movie he made (which he was fine in, though everything else about it was pretty awful). And that garnered him more attention for other reasons

I’m glad Rickey took the time to single out Laurel Canyon as well. A very underrated film. 

Now let’s hope he gets the chance to portray Steve Jobs. Though you do have to wonder if it’s a role he would really want…

Oscars, The Grouch

I hate almost all awards shows.1 The one exception has always been the Academy Awards.

I’ve watched the Oscars every year for as long as I can remember. To those who know me as a movie buff, this shouldn’t be surprising. Still, I can’t stand the Golden Globes or that various other pageants you can find on random television stations during awards season. But the Academy Awards always seemed special to me. Beyond reproach.

But I fear I’m starting to lose that loving feeling.

Read More

That’s what I look for in my work: when a writer can deftly describe the human experience in a way that you didn’t think could even be put into words. That doesn’t happen often, but it gives me something to play inside. Too much of the time our culture fears subtlety. They really want to make sure you get it. And when subtlety is lost, I get upset.
Philip Seymour Hoffman — yes, the quotes keep coming. And I 1000% agree with this quote.

Lynn Hirschberg profiled Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2008:

“I don’t know how he does it,” Mike Nichols, who has directed Hoffman on the stage (“The Seagull”) and in movies (“Charlie Wilson’s War”), told me later. “Again and again, he can truly become someone I’ve not seen before but can still instantly recognize. Sometimes Phil loses some weight, and he may dye his hair but, really, it’s just the same Phil, and yet, he’s never the same person from part to part. Last year, he did three films — ‘The Savages,’ ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ and ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ — and in each one he was a distinct and entirely different human. It’s that humanity that is so striking — when you watch Phil work, his entire constitution seems to change. He may look like Phil, but there’s something different in his eyes. And that means he’s reconstituted himself from within, willfully rearranging his molecules to become another human being.”

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman. The highest praise I can give is that I can’t even narrow down my three favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman roles as it would be a disservice to at least ten others. That’s how good he was.

[profile via @rklau]