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I thought "Thirteen" was an updated version of those Fifties What Is Happening To Our Youth flicks, with Evan Rachel taking the place of another Wood, Natalie. Didn't take it that seriously.

I don't know that I'd call Kidman vapid, although her performance in "Cold Mountain" comes pretty close to that description. Fortunately she didn't get nominated for it.

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The problem I have with Kidman is that she is everywhere! She has been in 7 films within the last 3 years, with 3 more to come this year. She has given some wonderful performances in some of those films yet I find it hard to really make an emotional connection to her as a performer when every three months you see her on a magazine cover promoting yet another movie. Take a break girl!

On the issue of movie star/actors the performers I admire and look for mostly fall in the serious actor catigory. Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldham, Kevin Kline, Christopher Walkin. Someone I did like very much but lost interest in was Nick Cage. Used to be a very quirky interesting actor. You had no idea what he was going to do next, which lent his performances an edgy slightly dangerous quality that was thrilling. Then he went and became a movie star, acting in Hollywood's most vapid overstuffed turkeys. He not only lost his edge he lost his soul. Hopefully with the great work he did in Adaptation he is emerging from the "dark side" and will give us more of the unusual spendid work he used to do.

Tom Cruise is not my favorite movie star in the world, however I do admire his work ethic and his eagerness to learn. He really pays attention to detail and seems very sincere about his craft.

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Cage's career does seem to be uneven. You know, I remember years ago when Siskel and Ebert were opining that Michael Douglas received the Oscar for the wrong film because it's harder to make an ordinary man look interesting (as in "Fatal Attraction") than it is a souped up character, as in "Wall Street." I see this time and again with other actors. I actually like Cage a lot in "The Family Man," particularly in his interaction with the little girl who played his daughter.

We do tend to overlook some of those people who play "Everyman" time and again. Years ago, when people were focusing on so many others, I thought Jack Lemmon was the actor of our day, such as in "The Apartment," or "The Days of Wine and Roses," or "How To Murder Your Wife." Ditto for "The April Fools." He still haunts me in "Missing," a riveting film.

In more recent years, I've felt that way about Jeff Bridges. So many underrated performances, such as in "Arlington Road," or "See You in the Morning," or "Fearless." All three are movies in which he plays the ordinary man in a way that grabs us. A not so ordinary man, but one I love nonetheless, is "Starman."

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Yes, Jeff Bridges is underrated. He gives consistantly fine performances year after year. He is not a showy "look at me" kind of actor, which is why he is overlooked at award time. I also think the same of Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.

The same could be said for some men in ballet. I'm thinking of dancers like Ivan Nagy and Jock Soto. I'm sure I could think of more. Again these dancers gave or give consistantly fine performances season after season. They are sensitive and giving partners and fine dancers on thier own. Yet sometimes they get overlooked in favor of the more showy bravura men.

By the way speaking of underrated actors let's not forget the women! Helen Mirren, the above mentioned Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis are a few. :wink:

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perky, maybe Nicole is just trying to make hay while the sun shines. In a few years she'll be pushing forty and it gets much tougher for top actresses then. You don't see other actresses as often, but it may not be by their choice – they don't get the offers. (If she'd gotten nominated this year, it would have been for the third year in a row – a record.)

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There are a few, however, who have made that transition, with grace and dignity:

Rene Russo

Michelle Pfeiffer

Meryl Streep

Sally Field

Susan Sarandon

It's sad to see so many others get caught up in Botox mania in a youth oriented society when, in fact, the general population is getting older.

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Funny Face, I wasn't referring so much to the attitudes taken by the actresses themselves so much as the difficult time they have finding good roles after A Certain Age. The pressure on actresses is so great that I don't wonder they resort to having a little work done. We haven't seen much of the ladies you mention recently, except for Streep, and her last nomination was for playing a supporting role to Cage.

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I think that's the rub, however -- attitudes beng very closely linked to getting work. There's a booming independent film market out there. Women with a healthy attitude about maturing can resist giving in to having themselves altered so they can continued to vie for younger roles. Instead, they can use this very viable market to produce and promote work that is befitting of them.

Even with the mainstream market, which is blending so much these days with the independent, we continue to see the more mature women hold their own. While in her 40s, Russo made, among others, 'Tin Cup," "Get Shorty," and "Ransom." Sarandon won her Oscar for "Dead Man Walking" when she was 50-ish. Pfeiffer was also in her 40s doing "The Deep End of the Ocean" and "What Lies Beneath." As for Streep, it may well be she doesn't always care if she plays the lead, as long as the work itself is good. I can't imagine anyone turning her down for just about any role she wanted to attempt. I think the same could be said for Field, who made a very intelligent and gutsy move playing Tom Hanks' mother in "Forest Gump," thereby establishing herself as a character actor before she 'had' to.

Diane Keaton is showing she is still star/Oscar material.

With the looming end of "Friends," it's Lisa Kudrow, at 40, who is being touted as the most likely to go on to a successful film career.

Still going strong on Broadway is Bernadette Peters, well into her 50s. Kathleen Turner has established herself well there too.

I don't by any means think this is the greatest time in movies for maturing women. But I think the way to do it is without fighting the natural changes of life. I also want to point out that there are younger actresses I do enjoy watching, but those are the ones who exude a certain intelligence no matter what their age. I think several who will make the transition nicely in the coming years are Julia Roberts, Ashley Judd and Marisa Tomei. I think Reese Witherspoon is another smart young woman with good range.

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The healthiest attitude in the world won't provide you with good job offers. Meryl Streep has actually gone on the record several times about the dearth of good leading roles for older women. Jack Nicholson once remarked that it wasn't Hollywood's attitude, but the actresses' – a "self-fulfilling prophecy" was his term. Streep responded, gently, that Nicholson wouldn't know or understand – he has never experienced the problem himself.

Returning to the topic, it would be nice to see Keaton win, although in all honesty I think the one Oscar she already has reflects her actual gifts as an actress – two's a bit much for her, one is plenty. Of the women who did get nominated, I'm rooting for Samantha Morton.

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So we've got a healthy debate going here! :wacko:

I'm not saying that the right attitude will automatically result in your being awarded the roles of your dreams. Rather, 1) giving in to the knife and injections will not do it either and will only make you feel and look foolish, both in the outcome of the good doctors' handwork and the roles you keep trying to play; and 2) you contribute to the problem by perpetuating it!

Moreover, this problem has been exacerbated in recent years. A number of notable actresses come to mind from years past who did fine work without succumbing to this craze: Glenda Jackson, Gena Rowlands, Katharine Hepburn -- heck, even Doris Day.

It's time for the madness to stop, and I think people like S. Hayek have the right idea about creating their own venues. It was K. Hepburn who said to look for the circumstances you want, and if you can't find them, then create them. I know this quote well because it has guided me plenty.

Yes, women are in a rather tough spot in the entertainment industry these days, but they are also contributing to this problem -- I've watched the erosion of feminism before my very eyes in a few short years. Virtually every awards show is a microcosm of what's happening.

If this were my particular field, and I had the financial resources and pull that some of these actresses do, I would be scripting, directing and producing the work I wanted to act in.

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I heard Diane Keaton, now 58, interviewed this afternoon and asked about her decision to eschew the knife. While acknowledging that women who look postmenopausal are sometimes denied the few roles that exist for women who are postmenopausal, and without condemning other people's choices, she said she really wanted to go with nature. :FIREdevil:

I was astonished a few months ago to see one of Hollywood's prettiest mouths -- Meg Ryan's -- distorted by obvious collagen injections. Didn't she know what she had? :mondieu:

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We continue to stray off topic (although I admit I started it!), but again, these ladies are under tremendous pressure. Ryan's not behaving very rationally these days, but her career is in a serious downturn. We might feel a little panicky, too. (Her lips do look frightful, though!) Also, this is the first non-Mommy role Keaton has had in years. She may be happy playing second fiddle to Steve Martin in Father of the Bride movies, but perhaps others may wish to avoid that fate for as long as possible? :FIREdevil:

I read that odds are narrowing on Naomi Watts to win. Did anyone see 21 Grams? I confess I took pains not to............

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21 Grams has not made it to this neck of the woods yet, if ever. However the part Watts plays is supposedly of a glammed way down, emotionally ravaged woman. The reviews I've read have been very complimentary. The academy just loves it when a beautiful actress appears onscreen sans makeup, hair a mess in dumpy clothes, don't they?

By the way what are the latest odds on best actor?

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Siskel and Ebert were predicting this decades ago for Penn, citing him as one of the great talents of his generation, back when most considered him something of an outcast. Has anyone seen his interview with James Lipton? He's gone on record stating he believes movies should be made for higher purposes than sheer entertainment -- vieiwing them as a medium for important messages. (Of course, I'm not sure what the 'message' was with "Fast Times" ...).

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Well, he was very young and just getting started when he appeared in "Fast Times" -- which is actually a good movie, I think, and Penn is wonderful in it. Although I wasn't that impressed with his work in "Mystic River" for a few reasons, but he's definitely entitled to one of those body-of-work Oscars they give once in awhile. He's stupendous in "Casualties of War," which is the movie I'd recommend to anyone wondering what the Sean Penn fuss is about.

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Oh yes, he's funny in the movie, no doubt, but I'm just pointing out that his perspective seems to have changed as he's gotten older. Actually, "Fast Times" has special appeal to me because Cameron Crowe went back to high school undercover the same year that I also did so.

It's interesting to me to hear the different players in "Mystic River" discuss Eastwood's novel approach to directing. He reportedly has a very serene and gentle style.

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I must admit that I didn't think Mystic River was a great movie - at least not compared to Unforgiven, but then Eastwood's not so great movies are probably so much better than other people's best efforts.

However I think Kevin Bacon deserved a nomination for Mystic River - I have always liked him but I think this was one of his best roles ever. This is very unfair to say but I always expect Sean Penn to act well, so no surprise whenhe does. Bacon isnt that consistent.

I also thought LAura Linney did a great job and if I were selecting the nominees, would have nominated her and not Marcia Gay Harden - she's too actressy, IMO.

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GWTW, I agree with you about Bacon and Linney. They were about the only two people in "Mystic River" who didn't hit you over the head with all their Great Acting. It wasn't that the others are bad -- you're just terribly aware that you're watching acting. But often it's that kind of performance that the Academy tends to notice. That's one reason I was pleased to see Morton nominated -- they often don't take note of that kind of quiet performance.

The academy just loves it when a beautiful actress appears onscreen sans makeup, hair a mess in dumpy clothes, don't they?

perky, that way, the Academy has it both ways -- they recognize a good, if showy, performance, and still get to see a Totally Hot Chick hit the aisle in a designer dress to accept her award. (This is much better than casting an older English actress to play Virginia Woolf, or a Kathy Bates to play a character like Aileen Wuornos.)

vagansmom, I do think Kidman is a good actress, although not a very warm or sympathetic one. I agree with you, the "new Streep" hype is REALLY annoying. I think others may find it annoying too -- hence no nomination. :wink:

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What I found remarkable about Linney's performance in Mystic River is that at the end of the movie, when she puts her cards on the table, I realized that this wasn't a "big scene," but just a verbalization of the essence of a character that had been established throughout the movie, quietly as dirac and GWTW describe.

I was also impressed with both Bacon and Robbins in their roles. I think that Dave's role would be the hardest of the three men to play, because he is such a broken person, yet has to be riding the fine line between guilt and innocence and sympathy and contempt. What I liked about Hayden's performance was that she was believable as his train wreck counterpart. It was so uncomfortable when both of these nervous, unhappy people were in the same room. Couples like that are scary to be around.

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hockeyfan228, it's interesting that some people were taken aback by Linney's big speech -- it seemed to come out of nowhere for them. But if you're watching Linney closely, you can see how she lays the groundwork, as you say.

I may as well come out and say it -- I wasn't that impressed with Tim Robbins. I thought he was a little too much, although it was not his fault -- it's how that character is written. My vote would be for Alec Baldwin.

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[Producer Joe] Roth added, "How am I going to say (no) to Clint Eastwood? Or Sean Penn? Not only are they adults, but they are the best in their field. So really, all you can ask them to do is to try to give some sense of how special it is."

Sure. But what about the less articulate :yawn: , less beautiful :yawn: behind-the-scenes people, whose egos :yawn: are likely almost as big as the actors and directors? :sleeping: This is one for the VCR, with thumb resting near the fast forward button. One question: think I'll need a 10-hour tape? :wink:

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In their defense, the behind-the-scenes people usually thank a whole bunch of people who work really crazy hours on the movies, and while it's tedious for us, it's their only chance to recognized their workers/collaborators (and give their families something to kvell about). At least they usually don't try to sound profound :wink:

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