Saturday, July 12, 2008

Acting Up

One of my college teachers -- Dr. Kinzer, I think -- was a fan of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, a famed acting couple from the golden age of Broadway. I remember Dr. Kinzer quoting Lunt on the secret to great stage acting: "Speak loudly and try not to bump into things." Sir Lawrence Olivier said once that he learned acting from Lunt. I discovered today that Lunt and Fontanne built a lavish estate near Milwaukee and the house, called Ten Chimneys, is now open to tourists. Check it out here.

On Joe Posnanski's amazing blog, there is a rollicking debate about who's the better actor -- Tom Cruise or Kevin Costner. Of course, the great thing about that debate is that both of these guys have been in some truly bad movies and in some classics. Bull Durham is still one of my favorites.


Michael said...

Oh, positively-love Posnanski.

I'm not sure if I can answer the question, though. I am very much the opposite of a film nerd- I pretty much enjoy whatever is put in front of me.

But Bull Durham is the best, no question.

"Get a hit, Crash."

"Shut up."

Bleeet said...

Well, they both suck pretty hard.

Putting on my acting hat: I would say Cruise is a more natural actor; his delivery appears less practiced but easier.

Costner usually seems more labored, more forced, which works well for constipation, but not acting. He come across as smarter and more literate in his delivery, which adds to his performances at times.

This being said, they still suck. Pretty boys without a lot of acting talent. That's Hollywood.

When I see them on screen with all that make-up, effects, lighting, careful editing, acting help and direction, and they still suck, all I can think is "That was their BEST take?"

I know I'm not being completely fair, but, hey, do they need me to be completely fair?

On the other note of your post: I believe it is Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest) in "Waiting for Guffman" who refers to the Albertsons (Fred Willard and Catherine O'Hara) as "the Lunts of Blaine." They are the stalwart "workhorses" of that community theater scene.

Jim H. said...


Posnanski's poll asks readers to vote for "The Lesser Actor'" which I think is quite clever. The poll, by the way, is pretty much a dead heat. "Dead Heat" sounds like the kind of forgettable movie Costner or Cruise might star in.

The Lunts of Blaine. Great line. Might one also say that about you and Mrs. Bleeet?

Bleeet said...

You could say that, but I'd rather you were working on my mayoral campaign.

I think his acting advice would fit a mayor's role pretty well: Speak loudly and try not to bump into things. Great advice.

The kind of advice I'm not paying you to give me.