Shining in Shadows: Movie Stars of the 2000s by Murray Pomerance

By Murray Pomerance

In the 2000s, new applied sciences reworked the stories of movie-going and movie-making, giving us the 1st iteration of stars to be simply as recognized at the video display as at the silver screen.

Shining in Shadows examines quite a lot of Hollywood icons from a turbulent decade for the movie and for the US itself. possibly reflecting our personal cultural fragmentation and uncertainty, Hollywood’s famous person personas despatched combined messages approximately americans’ identities and beliefs. matted men-children like Will Ferrell and Jack Black shared the multiplex with debonair old-Hollywood standbys like George Clooney and Morgan Freeman. Iconic roles for ladies ranged from Renee Zellweger’s dithering romantics to Tina Fey’s neurotic execs to Hilary Swank’s weak boyish characters. And during this age of truth television and TMZ, stars like Jennifer Aniston and “Brangelina” grew to become extra well-known for his or her real-life romantic dramas—at a similar time that former tabloid furnishings like Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. reinvented themselves as in charge top males. With a multigenerational, foreign forged of stars, this assortment offers a desirable composite portrait of Hollywood stardom today.

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C. com, 24 February 2005). Significantly, Eastwood’s star status is of such a magnitude that his political positions, real or assumed, are themselves the material for critical discourse. As such he joins another icon, John Wayne, whose politics remained securely conservative (and problematic for critics). What matters most here is the way the film blends the two old men, Eastwood and Frankie. As Mike LaSalle observes in his rave review, “Million Dollar Baby ages well in memory because it gradually seems to mean more.

32 CLINT EASTWOOD AND MORGAN FREEMAN 33 down” in the 2000s. He directed nine films (two of them featuring Freeman in major roles) and starred in four of them. 6 billion, as opposed to Eastwood’s $575 million. Both are stars of the first magnitude, respected by worldwide audiences, a remarkable achievement for two aging actors at a period when youth-oriented fare drives the box office. Of particular interest is the way the parts each man plays in films of this decade and the responses to them focus on important issues.

Part of Depp’s charm has always been his inscrutability: “What makes Depp so peculiar and so vitally interesting,” writes Pomerance, “is exactly that he is ungraspable” (10). After Johnny’s performance in Pirates formed a successful, successfully disguised (and, for most reviewers and filmgoers, really quite pleasant) commodification of quirkiness, he was able to carry a kind of inscrutability, a dusky occult charm into further mainstream roles like Sweeney Todd, the electric-haired throat-slashing protagonist of the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

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