Having just watched Bergman and Gregory Peck in Hitchcock's Spellbound, I was reminded once again how marvelous both looked and also, what real movie star glamour they had. So this is where the curmudgeon opines about the stars of yesteryear and dismisses the sorry lot we have today. But--to be fair--I think it must be a lot harder these days to control one's image and retain that aura of elegance and mystery, particularly when there's somebody with a camera phone hiding in every bush, and our info-all-the-time society dwells on every trip to the supermarket, should a celebrity be so foolish as to try shopping for toothpaste and toilet paper on his own. Still, the constant, petty bad behavior; the ridiculous quotes; the questionable fashion all take their toll. So who fares best these days, as having the closest image to the Bergmans, Bogeys, and Hepburns? It's more than looks--its coolness and style, and hopefully talent.
It's a bit easier to think of women. The first person that comes to mind is Nicole Kidman, who always looks good and seems very poised in public. She has a cool exterior that reminds me of old Hollywood. Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Jason Leigh in an odd way, Salma Hayek, Audrey Tautou and Juliette Binoche. The males are more difficult. Russell Crowe is out because he behaves like such a barbarian. Don't even talk to me about Tom Cruise. The one that seems head and shoulders above the rest is Denzel Washington. Very elegant, handsome, reticent with the press, good rep. He even does Shakespeare for kicks. Joaquin Phoenix? He's a bit Indie, but does retain an air of mystery, or maybe it's that undercurrent of tragedy shadowing his career. Jude Law is a thorough bounder, but not as dashingly as Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, or Richard Harris in their heyday. Thank god for Albert Finney, a link to the past and still kicking around in movies, and making them better. Well, just a bit of fluff for a Monday.