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Thread: Cruise vs. Kidman

  1. #16
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    "The Color Purple" was a great movie. I've seen it so many times and I'm still moved to tears with every viewing! But, back to Nicole again! I'll agree and say that pre-2000 her performances were tinged with a distinct icy quality. She seemed to be somewhat closed off and/or uncomfortable with openly expressing emotion. I think she finally found the perfect role in "The Others". It was a role that cast her directly as a somewhat icy (perhaps even haughty) character that's reserve was broken away and ultimately her vulnerable side was open for all to see. I think that this role came at the perfect time for Nicole. She had built up such a proud and guarded exterior with Tom. But, as that solid part of her life began to fall apart, cracks in the armor began to appear and we've been able to see glimpses of emotion. I think that is why Nicole came to own the character she played in "The Others"; she was facing a similar situation in her own life. She now has what I would coin as a regal vulnerableness. So, I think Nicole is beginning to thaw! She was engaging and even flirtatious in "Birthday Girl" (which I think was somewhat under appreciated). Hopefully, she'll keep challenging herself and, in the process, allow us to see more of what and who she really is.

  2. #17
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    VIETgrlTerifa,
    My love, lol! BTW, DON'T have a more open-mind about big epics (unless you're talking the great old epics like "Lawrence of Arbia," which managed to have intimate character studies interspersed with thousands of extras on horseback). Sean Penn say they're dangerous for you and that if you leave big empty epics (guess the "empty" is the key) feeling better than when you went in, you've been diminished as a person. Yup, he said it on "Inside the Actor's Studio." Wonder what Sean would say about small empty character studies like "I Am Sam"? (Okay, "I Am Sam" lovers--I'm ready to get hit with the tomatoes).

    It's so funny you ask about "Breaking the Waves" vs. "Dancer in the Dark." I was going to PM you and ask that very question. "Breaking the Waves" IMO is clearly the stronger film and I really love it. But if only Von Trier hadn't given in to Catherine Deneuve's letter about wanting to work with him and cast her instead of Marianne Jean Baptiste (a black woman who let's just say doesn't fit into the Classic Greek school of beauty, for those who don't know her), I think I would have liked "Dancer in the Dark" a lot more. Just hard to believe all these guys drooling over Bjork and not Deneuve. But I'll tell you, I LOVED the whole way Von Trier redid the musical genre. If I were a director, it's exactly th kind of muscial I would have done. Trivia point: A friend I used to dance with and had lost touch with is in "Dancer in the Dark." Small part, one of the dancers, but he does have a cast part as "Boris," who plays the guy Bjork is trying to go up to during the rehearsal of "Sound of Music" in the "So Long, Farewell" number when she can't see to get to him. I didn't know he was in the movie and about the 10th time I'd seen it I thought, "Gee that guy looks like TJ." And sure enough, there he was in the credits. So I found his e-mail on line, we re-established contact (he's lived in Sweden since 1990), and he told me a bunch of good dirt about making the movie. So I have a special place in my heart for "Dancer in the Dark," although I think "Breaking the Waves" is not only better, but amazing.

    So many great Mike Leigh movies. "Life is Sweet" is a great antithesis to "Naked," and has both the magnificent David Thewlis and Timothy Spall in it. "Secrets and Lies" is a must-see. "Topsy Turvy" is a fascinating departure from his usual subject matter and visual style, but still has that Mike Leigh "all about human interaction" core. Drawing a blank on others right now, but I can't believe I left Mike Leigh off my list of directors to die for.

    BronzeisGolden,
    ITA that "Birthday Girl" is very underrated. Interesting take on Nicole's "icey regalness." I agree we've seen more of the real Nicole since the divorce from Tom in public. Funny that she's so giggley and insecure, but after being married to the Cruise Missile for almost 10 years (and that almost is crucial) it makes sense. I wasn't that impressed with her in "The Others" but I agree that she's acting at a level she was never near for her entire relationship with Tom. Although I thought she was great in "Flirting."

    Okay, deep breath, feel free to beat me up, but only in Cyberspace--I hated "The Color Purple." Okay, absorbed that? I can't stand any of Spielberg's movies except "Minority Report." Yes...that means...I don't like..."Shcindler's List." There I've said it. Why? Okay, "The Color Purple" seemed to make caricatures out of the characters--and I thought the book was brilliant. Too cloying, too much obvious over-emotionality. With "Schindler's List" I felt was again plagued by Spielberg's "the world is a good place" persona. He never got into Schindler's original anti-Semitism, his original intent to us the war and Jews purely for profit, and his other frailties. And Liam Neeson, even beefed up, IMO, never got the greed that was the impetus for his actions. Also, the "cute" moments, such as lines where somebody said "A machine's not working" and Schindler responded, "Good. Maybe the Nazis will lose sooner" or something like that--things like that just made me angry. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut, but I just felt that Spielberg never gave us anything close to the horror of those times. Even the little boy hiding in the vat of urine and fecies is lit by an angelic light and looking up as if in a painting of the divine. Anybody standing waste deep in a vat like that would have been doing all he could not to gag. So I know the vast majority of people love both films and I wish I could reprint J. Hoberman's reviews of them rather than my inadequate reasons for not liking them, but that's how I feel. And if you really want to hate me, I don't just dislike "ET," I hate it. (Rgirl goes running off the thread, thinking "Why can't you keep your mouth shut!)

    Actually, I know there is at least one other person who agrees with me about Spielberg. About 14 years ago, there was a guy running around in front of movie theaters in NY representing the "SSN" society--the "Stop Speilberg Now" society. Stop him from making movies, that is. This guy REALLY hated Spielberg for being a pablum maker. I don't think he's that bad, and like I said, I honestly liked "Minority Report"--well, at least the look of it and some aspects of it, like Samantha Morton. But even there, I felt Spielberg made, for example, the scene between Cruise and the woman who discovered the Precogs unnecessarily bizarre what with the way he had Lois Smith (a remarkable actress) play it as "weird old scientist in her even weirder garden) and the kiss of Anderton and all. As usual, great looking film but for the most part one-dimensional characters.

    Gotta run!
    Rgirl....pant pant....I hated "Forest Gump" tooooo......

  3. #18
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    RGirl,

    I'm sorry to hear that. Our figure skating chat board friendship is now officially over. LOL! I have many friends that can't stand Spielberg or even "Forest Gump" for that matter. But, I do agree that Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" was a wonderful book. And, I'll definitely agree that Samantha Morton is an extremely gifted actress. She was spot on in "Minority Report". Have you seen "Morvern Callar"? I've heard wonderful things about this film and especially about Morton's performance.

  4. #19
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    Originally posted by BronzeisGolden
    RGirl,
    I'm sorry to hear that. Our figure skating chat board friendship is now officially over. LOL! I have many friends that can't stand Spielberg or even "Forest Gump" for that matter. But, I do agree that Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" was a wonderful book. And, I'll definitely agree that Samantha Morton is an extremely gifted actress. She was spot on in "Minority Report". Have you seen "Morvern Callar"? I've heard wonderful things about this film and especially about Morton's performance.
    BronzeisGolden,
    You are extraordinarily gracious not to kill me, lol. Seriously, I've known people who really did have a hard time being my friend after they found out my eville secret. Anyway, yeah, Samantha Morton. First almost stole "Sweet and Lowdown" from Sean Penn without saying a word; then did the best ever dance to "Oh, Sweet Pea" in "Jesus' Son" plus being the most adorable heroin addict girlfriend of Billy Crudup; then in "Minority Report" besides doing the otherworldy-feeling PreCog role, nailed that incredibly difficult monologue about the life Anderton's lost son would have had--the most emotionally honest and affecting scene, at least for me, ever in a Spielberg movie, and one of the best ever in a lot of movies.

    I too have heard Morton is amazing in "Morvern Callar" but havent' yet seen it. Definitely near the top of my "must rent" list. Anyway, VIETgrlTerrifa seems to have saved my butt, at least temporarily, by starting the "Top Films of 2003" thread, which I am off to look at. Besides, I'm over Nicole and Tom. You know me--just a gigolo
    Rgirl

  5. #20
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    IMO the Last/Samuri was an excellent movie. It was the best I have EVER seen Tom act. I also think CM looks good but I think it can hardly compete with LS. I don't know why it would not get great reviews.

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