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Thread: Cruise vs. Kidman

  1. #1
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    Cruise vs. Kidman

    A week ago Monday, 12-1-03, the AMC cable channel broadcast a "An American Cinametheque Tribute to Nicole Kidman" for the "artistry of her body of work." Kidman has developed into a fine actress in recent years and did a good job in the mid-90s with "To Die For" (although I thought her performance was overrated and that Joaquin Phoenix was the one who really stoood out). But she's only been doing what I'd call notable work since "Moulin Rouge" and somehow in the 2-3 years between "Moulin Rouge" and "The Hours" you'd think she'd become the next Meryl Streep. I wasn't that impressed with her performance in "The Hours"--frankly I thought she won because all those actors in the academy were so amazedthat somebody would go on screen with a big nose on purpose. Seriously, if she were just being feted for her work in the last coupele of years, I'd say fine. But for "the artistry of her body of work"? Do they mean the artistry of "Days of Thunder" and "Dead Calm"? Anyway, I just didn't get why, of all the actresses out there who really do have artistry in a great body of work, why Nicole Kidman? Then it starts to get near the end (I just flipped in now and then to check out what was going on) there was about five minutes devoted to Nicole's upcoming movie, "Cold Mountain" from the bestselling novel and costarring Jude Law (now that guy is great). Comes the dawn. This is a new salvo in the box office PR and also the campaigns for Academy Awards. Usually they wait until after the movie has been released to push for Oscars, but I thought, "This is brilliant. Get people thinking 'Cold Mountain' is Oscar material and that it's lead actors, or at least one of them, is worthy of a Best Actress Oscar BEFORE they see the movie. That gives the studio a big jump on all the competition."

    Then, a couple of nights later, on the cable channel TCM, Tom Cruise and the director of his upcoming movie "The Last Samurai" host an evening of three of Akira Kurosawa's best films: "The Seven Samurai," "Yojimbo," and "Throne of Blood." And it's not just Cruise and Zwick giving a short intro; they really go into each movie and, of course, relate each one to "The Last Samurai." "We're trying to stand on the shoulders of giants," says Zwick, who is most noted for directing "Glory" and for developing "Thirtysomething," the latter of which, depending on your POV, was either a great show or the barfiest piece of fodder for "The Simpsons" ever made.

    So here's my theory: Since Tom and Nicole were genuinely very good about keeping any messiness in their divorce out of the media and doing an amazing job of keeping the kids away from the ugly stuff that they've decided to declare war atthe box office and on awards shows. Cruise bends over backwards even for him to promote "Last Samurai" and Nicole does a one-hour promo for "Cold Mountain" in the guise of a tribute to her aristry as an actor and her "superb body of work."

    So far "The Last Samarai" doesn't look like it's going to be much of a contender for an Oscars, has gotten some real bum reviews, and although it's doing okay at the box office, it's hardly a megahit. We'll have to see with "Cold Mountain." All I can say is that Jude Law has been the best thing about every movie I've seen him in.

    So, any comments on my theory? Anybody care? Dull stuff, I know, but something to do until the GPF
    Rgirl

  2. #2
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Interesting theory Rgirl. Despite the fact that he was outwardly gracious, I think it stung Tom Cruise badly that Nicole got Mr. Oscar before he did.

    I think the difference between the two of them is obvious. Nicole is an actress who plays many characters who have different looks, moods, attitudes. Tom Cruise is a movie star, IMO, not really a great actor, and he essentially plays "Tom Cruise" in every movie. There was even an article on MSNBC saying essentially the same thing:

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/998636.asp
    (I will however personally give him credit for his "out of the Tom box" role in "Magnolia" - he was magnificent).

    Personally I think Nicole has shown more acting talent in individual scenes of her best films than Tom has in his entire body of work. And I think he knows it, and its killing him. I often wonder if that wasn't part of the reason for their split-up. I can't see Tom Cruise staying with any woman who might be more successful than him. Again, just a theory!!!!

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    I think that they're both great actors. Cruise was amazing in Born on the Fourth of July and Magnolia, while Kidman was great in Moulin Rouge and The Others.

    I don't think that they're trying to declare war on each other at the box office. I'm sure there's a sense of one-upmanship if one has a bigger hit thatn the other. But it's not the actors who decide when movies are going to be released, it's the studios. Kidman and Cruise would have no idea when they sign on when the movies are going to be released.

    I wouldn't mind seeing The Last Samurai, but Cold Mountain looks spectacular. Not only are Kidman and Jude Law in it, but it also stars Renee Zellweger and Natalie Portman(who gives the performance of the movie if the early reviews are any indication)

    Cold Mountain will no doubt receive a lot of nominations come Oscar time but it won't win the big ones. Lord of the Rings is going to win Best Picture and Best Director just for being the end of an incredible body of work by Peter Jackson.

  4. #4
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Cold Mountain looks way more interesting than The Last Samurai... Tom Cruise just doesn't do anything for me...

  5. #5
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    Tom Cruise seems like a really nice guy and it shows on screen. But just like one of the above post, I have the feeling Nicole has more range than Tom. Tom Cruise just plays Tom Cruise. I saw Master and Commander and then the Last Samurai. I don't care for Russel Crowe personally but I think as an actor he has a huge presence. Last Samurai has poor Tom in every scene. It's like they want to milk every ounce outa him, like to feast his fans. I wish Tom is in a more complex plot movie, say something to the Vanilla Sky genre. He could be impressive if only given some great role. Too bad there is no David Lean around to make some magic with Tom in it. Hey how 'bout Martin Scorcece? Imagine Tom in something like the Age of Innocence.

  6. #6
    Arm Chair Skate Fan show 42's Avatar
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    Tom, Nicole, Tom, Nicole.......oh which to choose....... I like them both...........I usually go to a flick for the content and not so much for the star (okay, I make an exception.......I LOVE Sean Connery post "James Bond" and basically watch anything he's in).....42

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    It's not likely to happen, but it's fun to picture this scenario: Since Nicole Kidman won the Oscar last year, she will present the Oscar this year in the best male actor category. Just imagine if her ex-husband won it!

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    Originally posted by Oreo
    It's not likely to happen, but it's fun to picture this scenario: Since Nicole Kidman won the Oscar last year, she will present the Oscar this year in the best male actor category. Just imagine if her ex-husband won it!
    HEE-HEE Oreo! I love everybody's responses, but this is the one I'd most love to see. I'm sure they'd be very gracious to each other, through clenched teeth, lol.

    Actually, I think Tom has a great actor in him and that we've already seen it in "4th of July," "Color of Money," and "Magnolia." Especially his supporting role in "Magnolia" gave me great hope, but then he turned around and went all super mega blockbuster movie star, while Kidman was even doing Indie films ("The Birthday Girl"). I don't think Kidman is a better actor than Tom, I think she's either got a better sense for picking good roles or else she's been lucky.

    BTW, in a thing I saw just recently on the Biography end 'o year thing, Kidman was quoted in an interview saying that during their marriage, she did make sacrifices for Tom's career so that one of them could always be with their children. Kudos for making sure one parent was always with the kids, and Tom was the bigger, way more bankable star, but then hey, throw your wife a bone. Anyway, there is no such thing as a friendly divorce (civil ones, yes; friendly, no) and no doubt Tom is seething with, "I COULD HAVE PLAYED VIRGINIA WOOLF WITHOUT THE FAKE NOSE!" C'mon, Tom. Quit worrying about only having a few more years as an action star and go back to roles like the aforementioned. Be in a Spike onze movie, Tome, or even more daring, Jonze's wife, Sofia Coppola. Forget the Spielberg's and the Ed Zwicks. They're just going to make a movie where you show how strong you are doing your own stunts. Go with the emotional danger Tom, and Oscar's yours. OTOH, they could do to Tom what they did to Paul Newman. Skip over him for all his greatest roles and finally give him the prize for a good, but not great, one.

    Rgirl

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    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    You know what Rgirl, I totally agreed with everything you said. I totally prefer Spike Jonze, Lars Von Trier, Ang Lee, and Paul Thomas Anderson to Spielberg or Zwick.

    Oh, by the way, I heard Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola are getting divorced...:(

    You know, I bet if Tom is nominated for Best Actor for Last Samurai, a lot of the Academy members are going to give it to him just to see Nicole present it to him.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Spielberg RULES!

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    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    Toni, how many times have we disagreed on something

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    While I don't think Spielberg is the end all of directors, I will always respect him for "Schindler's List". That film is so well constructed and hauntingly powerful...with every viewing! Perhaps the subject matter helps a bit, but I feel Spielberg did a wonderful job. Anyway...back to the wonderful world of Tom and Nicole! I like your take on the box office battle, RGirl. It certainly does make sense. Nicole has impressed me the most since 2000. She has consistently pushed herself and the limits of her ability by accepting challenging, varying roles. She has become a better actress by taking part in difficult, multi-faceted projects that require her to step outside of her comfort zone. I don't feel Tom has done that nearly as much or as successfully during the same time period. I'm with RGirl, there will be no Oscar for Tom until he challenges himself emotionally! He certainly won't get there with "Mission Impossible", etc. But, maybe that isn't his aim. Maybe he just wants to entertain us. LOL, or maybe he wants to make a buttload of cash! Either way, I admire them both for the way they have handled the divorce and the ensuing media onslaught. They both realized their children were the first priorities and that speaks volumes about character.

  13. #13
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by VIETgrlTerifa
    Toni, how many times have we disagreed on something
    don't make me get the list out

    how've ya been? how's school going?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by VIETgrlTerifa
    You know what Rgirl, I totally agreed with everything you said. I totally prefer Spike Jonze, Lars Von Trier, Ang Lee, and Paul Thomas Anderson to Spielberg or Zwick.

    Oh, by the way, I heard Spike Jonze and Sofia Coppola are getting divorced...:(

    You know, I bet if Tom is nominated for Best Actor for Last Samurai, a lot of the Academy members are going to give it to him just to see Nicole present it to him.
    VIETgrlTerifa, I love you! In naming your preference for Spike Jonze, Lars Von Trier, Ang Lee, and Paul Thomas Anderson to Spielberg or Zwick, you instantly become my favorite person in the world--besides the other people I know who feel the same way. But wow, you mentioned just about my three favorite directors in Jonze, Von Trier (did you know he just added the "Von" to sound cool, lol), and my main man, Paul Thomas Anderson. Am also a big David O. Russell fan, too.

    Bummer about Spike and Sofia. I wonder if her success with "Lost in Translation" had anything to do with it.

    LOL about your last sentence. I know if I were an Academy member, that's what I'd do!

    BronzeisGolden,
    Yeah, whether by luck or by intent, I agree that Nicole has grown far more as an actor since 2000 than Tom. But to be fair, Tom had a pretty good growth spurt with "Color of Money" (ya workin' wit Scorsese, ya workin wit da best!), "Born on the 4th of July," "Rain Man," "Jerry Maguire," and "Magnolia." I think he hoped "Minority Report" would get him a best actor nod (divorced cop "on the whiff" who lost his son), and although I liked him in the film, I think Spielberg got carried away with the chases and action. Plus, who comes along and steals the movie? Booyah! Colin "Can Do No Wrong Right Now" Farrell. I just watched the AMC-Plus version (with the little blurbs of movie info under the film) of "Risky Business" last weekend and even then, Cruise was very serious about getting deep into the character. He'd just done a small part in "Taps," a military school story, so he was all bulked up, and for "Risky Business" he made sure he lost as much muscle as possible and even ate just enough so he'd have a layer of "baby fat" so that, as Cruise described it, the character in "Risky Business" would "look vulnerable, with no muscle armor." I mean, the guy has been a serious actor for almost 25 years. Anyway, I hope he gets the equivalent of Paul Newman's roles in "Cool Hand Luke" or "The Verdict," to name just towo of Newman's great roles. But if he wants that naked gold guy, I agree with VIETgrlTerifa that he's going to have to work with an "actor's director" like the ones she mentioned, and of course there are others, rather than a "whole movie" directors, which I think is the category Spielberg fits into, along with guys like Zwick, James Cameron, Barry Levinson, and others. Too bad Jane Campion hasn't done anything notable since "The Piano." Would be interesting to see Big Cruise work with a great woman director (Sofia, Sofia...Maybe not great yet, but could be). I bet they were both counting on Stanley Kubrick to do great things for them (who wouldn't?) but it seems like all "Eyes Wide Shut" did was encourage Tom to start thinking about divorce. Then no repeat of the "Jerry Maguire" magic with Cameron Crowe and "Vanilla Sky." Just Penelope Cruz. Though she's awfully hot, too, and a much better actress than she gets credit for, IMO. Just the range she showed between "Vanilla Sky" and "Blow"--pretty darn good.

    My only problem with Nicole is that her acting tends toward icey and aristocratic. I mean, did anyone believe her "high" scene in "Eyes Wide Shut"? Although nobody undresses like that girl, mmm, mmm. And I don't even go that way. And I did really like her in "Birthday Girl" and other movies. I'm very curious to see her in "Cold Mountain" since there is nothing icey or aristocratic about her character, at least not in the book. And I know I'd find it hard not to "let go," so to speak, with hubba hubba Jude Law as my costar playing the husband who walks across a countryto get back to her.

    Fun talking movies instead of skating, lol.
    Rgirl

  15. #15
    Kwan's vodka dealer VIETgrlTerifa's Avatar
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    Yeah, Toni, I think the list will be a mile long. Thanks for asking, I'm really tired right now and am totally ready to finally get to rest. I know you'll be traveling down south soon, how are you preparing?

    Rgirl, aww thanks for the love, lol. To tell you the truth, I have a lot of catching up to do. I still have a lot of movies that I want to see that I haven't seen yet. For example, I've only seen one Mike Leigh movie, which was "Naked" with David Thelewis ( I can't wait to see him in HArry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with one of my favorite directors, Alfonso Cuaron).

    Yeah I heard about the adding of the Von by Lars Von Trier on IFC. I think he did the right thing because the Von makes his name sound better, lol.

    I think I'm biased toward character driven movies and biased against big epics, so I need to be more open-minded about those movies.

    I think Nicole is a great actress and I like that she takes her characters very seriously, but I agree a lot of her roles are a bit icey and kind of have that high and mighty attitude. I really liked her performance in The Hours but I didn't think she was better than Julianne Moore or Meryl Streep in the movie. I actually think Tom has a big chance to win with Last Samurai, but if he doesn't get it, I think his next big chance is with a more unknown and smaller director, like you said Rgirl.

    You're right, it's a shame Jane Campion hasn't matched her successes with "The Piano" which I loved, but maybe the Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo movie she's has out this year might boost her up to do something in that caliber again.

    About Spielberg, I think his biggest strenghts are either his work with special effects (I thought Minority Report was a beauty to look at) or his work with social subject matters that helps people get into the movie (like the Holocaust (Schindler's List) or World War II (Saving Private Ryan)). My fave Spielberg movie actually is The Color Purple, even though it does have it's flaws, I think it's one of his best work.

    Anyways, which Von Trier movie do you prefer? "Breaking the Waves" or "Dancer in the Dark"?

    I prefer "Breaking the Waves" myself.

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