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March 11, 2005


There are some actors that we don't necessarily want to come back

I don't know how the planets had to align for this one to happen, but it appears that Kevin Costner is making some kind of comeback. The new movie he stars in with Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger, is by many accounts not a totally successful movie, but his performance is being celebrated, not ridiculed.

If you grew up during the 1980's you might remember a time when it was reasonable that photographs like this would exist:

80's Kevin Costner

When he was starring in movies like The Untouchables and Field of Dreams and (I hate to say it) Bull Durham, Kevin Costner was a real live star who people found charming and who many women honestly thought was hot.

Then came Dances With Wolves, which won a slew of awards, but put Costner on shaky Self-Important Artist ground, and today looks pretty goofy. Then there was the embarrassment of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. And before we knew it, Kevin Costner was doing projects that became punchlines. The Postman. You're snickering inside right now, aren't you? You should be.

The Postman

But things are looking up for Kevin Costner. FameTracker brings us an incredulous Fame Audit in which they also praise his decision to take an unflattering role in The Upside of Anger and in doing so, regain some of his old charm. Much like Michael Douglas chose to play the washed-up, pot-smoking, pathetic, droopy old professor in The Wonder Boys, Kevin Costner has also realized that he can play aging, balding, and charming all at the same time. From the Fame Audit: "Costner's reappeared in just the kind of role, in just the kind of movie, that he needs to be in right now: as a sodden, slightly depressing, but ultimately charming ex-jock, opposite Joan Allen. In other words, he's playing your mother's ex-boyfriend from high school! The guy who had it all, then got kind of sad and flabby and old, but who knows it, and can smile about it, and so retains a sliver of charm! He gets it! He finally gets it!"

A.O. Scott in the New York Times: "Mr. Costner somehow comes most alive as an actor when he can loosen up enough to mix pride and disappointment, charm and sleaze. Denny, paunchy and slovenly, has gone so far to seed that you expect dandelions to sprout from his head, but he holds onto just enough of his old winner's optimism and grit to keep him from being completely pathetic." He calls the film "a seriously flawed movie wrapped around two nearly perfect performances."

Slate's David Edelstein: "Costner clearly hopes this will relaunch his career as a character actor the way Terms of Endearment added luster to Jack Nicholson's. And he's funny and likeable—his timing is great."

I don't know how the hell one ever comes back after 3000 Miles to Graceland, but I'm proud of you, Kevin Costner.

categories: Celebrities, Movies
posted by amy at 2:55 PM | #

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