Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1996. TriStar Pictures, Gracie Films. Screenplay by Cameron Crowe. Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. Produced by James L. Brooks, Cameron Crowe, Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai. Music by Danny Bramson. Production Design by Stephen J. Lineweaver. Costume Design by Betsy Heimann. Film Editing by Joe Hutshing, David Moritz.
Tom Cruise‘s best performance (not including the tabloids or his many lawsuits) is this excellent comedy-drama by the charismatic Cameron Crowe. He plays a hotshot sports agent who one day has an epiphany that instructs him to live a smaller, more honest life, to be truer to his profession by not being so obsessed with its financial gains and instead concentrate on a richer moral existence. His ideas, which take the form of a controversial manifesto, get him fired, and soon he finds himself working out of his home with only one client (an excellent Cuba Gooding Jr.) and an assistant (Renee Zellweger) with a complicated personal life of her own. Watching these characters interact using Crowe’s brilliant dialogue is always enjoyable, while watching Cruise go through the world’s most difficult humiliations is difficult but rewarding; his ability as an actor to completely rip himself open and let his emotions show so plainly on film makes the experience as memorable as it is.
Academy Award: Best Supporting Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Tom Cruise); Best Original Screenplay; Best Film Editing
European Film Award Nomination: Screen International Award
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Tom Cruise)
Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Supporting Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.)
Screen Actors Guild Award: Best Supporting Actor (Cuba Gooding Jr.)
Nominations: Best Actor (Tom Cruise); Best Supporting Actress (Renee Zellweger)