The Question


March 03, 2006

You know the "type." Bruce Willis, action guy (Die Hard, etc.). Milla Jovovich, seductive slayer of whatever (Resident Evil, etc.). Certain actors seem to thrive on being pigeonholed, with Willis' cop adventure 16 Blocks and Jovovich's futuristic keister kicker Ultraviolet opening today. Not exactly a stretch for either. We wonder, have you ever identified with an actor so strongly in a certain role that you were jarred when he or she tried to exhibit "range"?


Cary Grant in Father Goose (1964) played a grizzled South Pacific island inhabitant forced to become a spy for the United States during World War II (against Japan). He was cranky, boozy, unshaven. His image could be summed up in one word: Ick!


The late Anthony Perkins has done his share of psychopathic monsters ever since being typecast as Norman Bates in Psycho. However, Perkins showed tremendous range in Orson Welles' The Trial playing Joseph K, a man accused of a crime that is never explained to him. K's constant bewilderment and vulnerability are exemplified by Perkins in every single frame. Some vulnerability was shown in Norman Bates but as Joseph K, Perkins displayed sincerity and weakness in clearly the most atypical role of his career.



Sunday night brings, at long last, the 78th annual Academy Awards, at which time we'll find out whether this whole Brokeback Mountain thing was a fluke or a magic moment in filmmaking history.

Is George Clooney the most important man in Hollywood?

Can anyone possibly top the floating bunnies from the animated - and brilliant - Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit?

Anyway, just showing up on the Oscars ballot can give a picture a big boost, convincing undecided moviegoers that it must be good if it's up for an Academy Award. OK, so when was the last time the Academy Awards changed your mind about seeing a film ... and you hated it? Or loved it?

Please send your thoughts by Tuesday in a brief note with your name, city and daytime phone number (and "Such a Critic" in the memo field) to We'll publish the best answers we receive.

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