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Friday, March 04, 2005

Movies: GQ's Greatest Actor List 

I'm not sure where "our generation" starts and stops, but GQ evidently does. The men's magazine recently compiled a list of the Top Ten Actors of Our Generation.

Russell Crowe: Before he finishes he'll add another Oscar or two to his mantle. Welcome to the club, Russ. Let's move on.

Johnny Depp: He's been a pirate, a playwright, and a weirdo with sharp fingers. And don't forget the pinnacle of his career -- the title role in Cry Baby. I think Depp is "this generation's" Sean Penn (the generational line of demarcation evidently came between 1960 and 1963). He's a no-brainer.

Nicolas Cage: What else has he done besides Adaptation? I'll give you Raising Arizona, and maybe Matchstick Men, but come on. Cage's run of late 90's action movies made him a very poor man's Bruce Willis, and let's not even get started on the worst accent in the history of film, which he sported in Con Air. To quote Bill Lumbergh, "Yeah... I'm gonna have to go ahead and, uh, disagree with you here." Strike one.

Don Cheadle: I'd go so far as to say that after Hotel Rwanda, Cheadle not only belongs on this list, but could very well end up making his way into the top tier of it. He's a versatile actor that can pull off both comic and dramatic roles.

Leonardo DiCaprio: His pretty boy reputation has hurt his status as a serious actor, I think, but there's no denying that Leo belongs on this list. If he wants to win an Oscar, though, he might want to work with a director not named Martin Scorsese.

Clive Owen: Strike two. GQ's jumping the gun just a wee bit on this one. Owen's breakout role in Closer received acclaim, but his prior filmography doesn't begin to dazzle. Let's see how he follows up with the next few roles before we put him on a pedestal.

Benecio Del Toro: His body of work isn't huge, but he has an Oscar. He's also shown an ability to both blend into all-star casts, as well carry a film. I agree with his selection.

John C. Reilly: Sure, he's a character actor that has never played a leading role, but look at his films -- they almost always receive heaps of praise. Is it all because of him? No. But it would be a disservice to his talent to say he doesn't contribute.

Jim Carrey: Though he still dabbles in his slapstick roots, Carrey's performance in Eternal Sunshine proved his durability. I haven't seen his other dramatic roles, but plenty of others did and it's hard to overlook acclaim for parts like Andy Kauffman in Man on the Moon. He'll need a solid follow-up to prove he belongs, but his inclusion isn't as egregious as some.

Gael Garcia Bernal: Who? Critics lauded both Amores Perros and Y tu Mama Tambien, but let's get real. How many American movie fans know anything about this guy? I understand an actor is an actor, but his selection further muddles the meaning of "our" generation. Strike three.


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