Quite possibly, at no time in our history have more women been singularly devoted to one man. That man, of course, is George Clooney. Christmas arrives but once...
Quite possibly, at no time in our history have more women been singularly devoted to one man.
That man, of course, is George Clooney.
Christmas arrives but once a year. So, too, at least in 2006, does Clooney.
His sole cinematic work is “The Good German,” following his artistic triumph of three Oscar nominations for last year’s work (for writing, directing and acting) and a supporting-actor win for “Syriana.”
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Helmed by his longtime artistic and business partner, Steven Soderbergh, “The Good German” is an atmospheric thriller set in 1945 Berlin during the Potsdam Conference. Shot in black and white with obvious Hollywood backdrops, it’s an homage to “Casablanca” and “The Third Man.”
The movie marks a milestone in movie physiognomy: the first time the actor — blessed with Cary Grant’s exquisite jaw — is paired with Cate Blanchett, possessor of Katharine Hepburn’s unearthly cheekbones.
His is the face that launched a thousand sighs, and a voice as memorable and rich as single-malt Scotch. The eyebrows are good and the profile exceptional. The jaw, as previously mentioned, is perfection.
He doesn’t appear to look bad in anything.
Clooney, to a woman of a certain age and temperament, has the field of love object to himself. He is 45 and, from all appearances, improving with age.
Many fans swooned over Grant, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and John Wayne, sometimes simultaneously, given their overlapping careers. The same held true of Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando and Paul Newman. There were multiple Beatles to go around, as well as Rolling Stones.
Brad Pitt may be prettier (to some) than his friend George and certainly in better shape (who isn’t?), but being prettier and buffer than everyone else is not what most women want.
Know what women want? George Clooney.
Know what’s wrong with George Clooney? Nothing, absolutely nothing.
So maybe some inferior hair-style decisions early in his career, a highlighted mullet, no less. Then again, who among us hasn’t exhibited poor style judgment in our youth?
Clooney is an old-fashioned movie star in that his largest, most enduring love affair is with the camera and, subsequently, the audience. He’s equally a star of still portraiture, selling multiple magazine covers. Some of us bought Men’s Vogue solely for that purpose.
In public, Clooney displays a penchant for self-deprecating humor, as well as a sense of civic duty that’s rarely squandered or overplayed. He appeared before the United Nations Security Council last week, and this week was in the news campaigning for a peacekeeping unit and humanitarian relief in the besieged Darfur region of the Sudan.
“I think it is a responsibility as a human being to get involved, [especially] if you happen to be a celebrity and can get more attention brought to it,” the actor told ABC News. “I’d be so ashamed if, at the end of my life, if I didn’t participate in solving some of the problems of the human condition.”
Oddly, despite his myriad romantic roles, playing opposite Julia Roberts, Michele Pfeiffer, Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and now Blanchett, Clooney has sizzled precisely once with an actress on screen, in Soderbergh’s underappreciated “Out of Sight.”
He and Jennifer Lopez project the kind of heat and tension rarely achieved in contemporary movies, rivaling the pairing of McQueen and Faye Dunaway in “The Thomas Crown Affair,” or Grant with Ingrid Bergman in “Notorious.”
As a star, Clooney has mastered the art of appearing knowable yet enigmatic. He seems to have more fun than anyone with his large coterie of male pals while remaining quiet about his romantic life. He’s accessible, yet aloof. He’s not prone to confession. There’s the tension of mystery.
After a brief, early marriage to actress Talia Balsam, Clooney vowed to never marry again, a vow he has upheld for 13 years. The attraction of great stars is feeling that we know them without knowing them too much. There’s the allure that they’re available, that a woman might fit into that equation, even if such logic is absurd.
Part of Clooney’s appeal is combining good taste in projects (perhaps not “Batman & Robin” or “Return of the Killer Tomatoes!”) and directors with a desire to grow as an artist, taking on writing and directing projects as well as working with interesting directors. He may have had a miserable time with David O. Russell on “Three Kings,” as reported, but it remains a dazzling piece of work.
Finally, there’s the ability to appear absolutely natural and loose while exhibiting range and generosity as an actor. For all his innate beauty, he has no problem appearing less so on screen, as demonstrated by his turns in “Syriana” (where he packed on 30 pounds), “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (sporting greasy hair and an absurd mustache), or “Intolerable Cruelty” (mugging cartoonishly and flashing gleaming chompers).
He’s that secure. Which, of course, makes him all the more attractive.
As if such a thing were possible.