Tinsel Town egos stripped bare: One brave film critic exposes the unvarnished truth of the Hollywood stars
Read more: Film critic exposes Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley and other Hollywood stars | Mail Online
Hollywood is a world of fawning sycophancy and downright deceit. There’s one exception: for 35 years, British critic David Thomson, Editor of The Biographical Dictionary Of Film, has been compiling compellingly unvarnished critiques of the stars. In the latest edition, this is how he describes the new entries...
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY: She is astonishingly beautiful. But Keira is about as interesting as a creme brulée where too much refrigeration has killed flavour with ice burn. She is still more credible as a faintly animated photographer’s model than as an actress.
JOHN CLEESE: He works very hard nowadays, but the grim truth sinks deeper — this great man is no longer funny.
JULIE CHRISTIE: She is, sadly, obvious in her efforts, lacking in either gaiety or insight and, most serious of all, gawky, self-conscious and lantern-jawed.
ANGELINA JOLIE: No one writing about Angelina’s arrival on screen in the late Nineties could mask sheer wonder at the carnal embouchure that is her mouth. It could blind anyone.
HUGH GRANT: With his drooping chin and pouty lips, his quaff of hair and dithery manner, Hugh Grant seems like a refugee from Thirties theatre — or an incipient sneeze looking for a vacant nose.
RICHARD GERE: He has been in enough bad films to make one think his career was drawing to a close - he is generally more interesting when doing less.
BILL NIGHY: Somewhere between a scarecrow and a faded aristocrat.
CATE BLANCHETT: Something is not quite clicking. She was prone and unconscious for most of Babel; implausible in Notes On A Scandal; again in Elizabeth: The Golden Age; unbelievable and undesirable in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Enough?
SIR MICHAEL CAINE: He tends to be as cold and barricaded in as his spectacles.
MERYL STREEP: She has problems now with seeming natural.
DEMI MOORE: She has no dramatic sense. At present, it is not quite clear if she is active, resting, or just out of it.
JAMIE LEE CURTIS: She works steadily, usually in family comedies or the obligatory horror films (which also fit her increasingly haunted look — or is that just keeping in such tip-top condition for so long?).
TOM CRUISE: There are those who view Tom Cruise as the representative of all that is immature in American cinema today — the cockiness, the grin, the huge box-office success and the sudden falls from grace. In that spirit, Cruise is the worst of the spoilt brats of Hollywood — because he has been the most successful.
HUGH JACKMAN: He is hot (I suppose). Now, he just needs to be interesting.
BEN AFFLECK: On one hand I have always had a soft spot for Affleck. But my other view is that he is boring, complacent and criminally lucky to have got away with everything so far.
BRAD PITT: Hardly anything he touches now is less than ‘precious’ and ‘awesome’ — it can’t be long before he begins to look very tired.
JENNIFER ANISTON: She’s in her 40s now and her £5 million-a-movie career cannot go on for much longer. But rather in the manner of Doris Day, while one can make gentle fun of Jennifer Aniston, it’s hard to dislike her.
RACHEL WEISZ: Yes, she's Jewish and unwilling to do anything to mask it - including putting a damper on her vigorous intellect.
STEVE MARTIN: He seems fundamentally averse to acting.
SANDRA BULLOCK: She has become a business, a production company and what is called a national favourite. So be it — but, as I go through the list of her films, I defy you to be quite sure which film was which.
HILARY SWANK: In nearly everything she has done, she has been pretty, dull,
ordinary and incapable of lifting the film clear of a sanctimonious mud.
GWYNETH PALTROW: Awarding her an Oscar for her performance in Shakespeare In Love was too generous.
MICHELLE PFEIFFER: She still carries the rather stunned, obedient air of a checkout girl at the supermarket, as well as the lustre of a beauty pageant winner.
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO: Now that he is past 35 and beginning to look a touch puffy, there are those ready to dismiss DiCaprio. We’ll see how much creative stamina he possesses, but I fear that kind of fey magic he once had has slipped from his face.
GERARD DEPARDIEU: Depardieu has the air of a rugby player (after a game played in heavy mud) crossed with a great violinist. But am I alone in feeling that I’ve seen his every mood and urge over and over again?
HARRISON FORD: There may not be an actor in the history of movies whose films have grossed more money. But on the few occasions of adventurousness in his career, he has revealed himself as a limited, anxious actor.
DREW BARRYMORE: I can't help finding it shocking, as well as startling, that Drew Barrymore was born so recently (in 1975), and yet seems to have been here, and a problem, for so long.
GEORGE CLOONEY: It’s clear, as he approaches 50, that George Clooney is the most liked actor in U.S. pictures. And it is also clear that he knows it.
MATT DAMON: What’s most interesting about Damon is the very lack of good looks — and the feeling of a squashed and rebuilt face.
BRUCE WILLIS: The mystery continues. Willis makes quantities of commercial junk, where his raised eyebrows soar into the space left by his receding hairline. And then he produces something that unmistakably reveals a tender, wise actor.
NICOLAS CAGE: It has to be said that the Cage of the past few years has been distressingly fixed on money-making movies of questionable worth. If he doesn’t have enough money yet to settle for taking a risk, then what is the point of money?
RALPH FIENNES: There are those who find him beautiful, classy and intellectual. Others remark on the extraordinary opportunities he has had, coupled with his strange reticence to expose himself — I mean his spirit, for he takes his clothes off regularly. He sometimes acts as if he would rather be offscreen.
CATHERINE ZETA-JONES: The ‘Zeta’ in her name (a shrewd move) does suggest some Latin blood that would match her extreme, ripe, dark good looks. But, in truth, it was her grandmother’s name — and if one knows Wales at all, there is a very Welsh look to Jones — a kind of Polly Garter flash, full of flirt, anger, and sauce. In the real valleys, it must be said, it is a prettiness that tends to fade early.