Day By Day

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Stars in the Hollywood Firmament

David Denby, writing in the New Yorker [not available online] opines that we are running out of movie stars -- that the new movie production system is not today capable of throwing up onto the screen mythic figures like Coop and the Duke and Valentino and Monroe.

Isaac Chotiner over a the New Republic disagrees. He points out that today there is a plethora of genuine A-list stars. Moreover as a group they are far better actors than the mythic stars of the studio years.

Interesting. I tend to side with Chotiner -- even the least able of today's pantheon of stars -- I'm talking 'bout you, Brad -- is a better actor than Cooper or Wayne or Gable.

I seem to remember Robert Duvall saying that he doesn't watch old movies because the acting is so bad. He has a point. What drives me nuts is that, despite the amazing technological advances in film, and the indisputable skill and sheer craftsmanship of the workers in the field (even a mid-level director knows every trick Orson Welles employed at his peak and much, much more), the finished products are so damn mediocre so much of the time.