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The Jude Law Curse

200pxjudelaw2 There are certain actors who just don't draw audiences, no matter how talented they are. Think Jeff Bridges, Jim Caviezel, Dennis Quaid, Tim Robbins and most definitely, Jude Law. Some great actors are destined to remain just actors. They may represent quality or deliver Oscar-worthy performances, but they just aren't marquee movie stars. Remember, a star is someone who is defined by putting butts in seats. I've gotten into heated arguments with people about whether or not, for example, Sean Penn is a star. He's a great actor. But do film fans go to see a movie just because he's in it? Only if the critics and good word-of-mouth tell them to.

What is it with Law? He speaks with a plummy British accent, he's sexy and gorgeous, he can do comedy, tragedy, romance. He started off as the incredibly charismatic object of Ripley's envy in Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley. He made a delightful robot in A..I., and a creepy villain in The Road to Perdition. But put him in the lead and ask him to carry a movie like Minghella's Cold Mountain? Not a good idea, as Stephen Schaefer points out. He makes a good cad, but neither Alfie nor Closer connected with audiences. I liked him much better in The Holiday before he turned into Saint Widower with two adorable little girls. It's possible that his tabloid life—the swinging London scene with ex-wife Sadie Frost, with whom he had three children, their messy divorce, his off and on relationship with Sienna Miller, canoodling with the nanny, etc., has hurt him with movie fans. But was he ever established as a movie star in the first place? Where is his breakout hit?

Certainly, 2006 was not a good year. All the King's Men bombed. The Holiday is a disappointment. His third film with Minghella, Breaking and Entering, is not taking off in limited engagements and earned 50 % rotten reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Is this hunky thespian a character actor in disguise?


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