Robert Tanitch reviews two film books
GEORGE CLOONEY Anatomy of an Actor by Jeremy Smith. Cahiers du Cinema. (Phaidon £29.95). Clooney is very handsome, outlandishly attractive, the sexiest man alive, the ideal face of modern male beauty, and the most widely liked actor in American movies. He has a casual style and has often often been likened to Cary Grant (who, you will remember, wished he was the Cary Grant everybody thought he was.) Cooney is a self-deprecating charmer, canny, intelligent, cool and humorous. But can he act? ER was the turning point in his career. Take a look atSolaris, Syriana and Michael Clayton and it’s clear he’s a movie star who has became an actor. 10 roles are discussed in detail. The book is handsomely illustrated.
NICOLE KIDMAN Anatomy of an Actor by Alexandre Tylski. Cahiers du Cinema. (Phaidon £29.95). Kidman made her international debut in the Australian thriller, Dead Calm. She has always been a glamorous. When she appeared on the London stage in The Blue Room (an adapation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde) one theatre critic got completely carried away and described her as “pure theatrical Viagra.” Kidman has been a brave risk-taker, constantly transforming herself. Her films, not always successful, include Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise (to whom she was married for a time), Guy Van Sant’s black comedy, Ro Die For, Buz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, Grace Stewart’s The Others and Stephen Daldry’s The Hours in which she played Virginia Woolf. Kidman has always been passionate about reading.10 roles are discussed in detail. The book is handsomely illustrated.