Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Vanity Fair's Hollywood ~ Episode 12 (2006)

Missed previous episodes? See: 1995 , 1996, 1997, 1998 , 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005

This Hollywood history series is nearing its end point as we approach the here and now. After two relatively safe / similar Hollywood covers: actresses + gowns = glamour. discuss, Vanity Fair shook things up to instant water cooler success in 2006.

click to enlarge for maximum blinding cheekiness

Tom Ford, 44, was ditching fashion for Hollywood (his directorial debut will supposedly emerge soon), and VF had him nuzzling Keira Knightley as Scarlett Johansson languorously lounged before them in nubile albino glory. Was the empty black space to your left...
  • a compositional must?
  • a place in which to photoshop oneself for an imagined ménage à quatre?
  • an homage to every ethnic actor they'd ever shoved into the last fold of the covers?
Scarlett Johansson was 21 going on 22. You're forgiven if you assumed she was the niece of not one but all of Conde Nast's top executives. Three Hollywood covers in a row! Perhaps they should just have replaced the"Hollywood" tradition with an annual "Scarlett" issue. They could document every step of her career. They could string famous actresses across the cover each year, dressed up like Scarlett Johannson's film characters.

But who would play each Scarlett?

Keira Knightley was just turning 21 and enjoying her first Oscar nomination for Pride & Prejudice. She was also promoting her second Pirates of the Caribbean and a few months away from filming Atonement. "Come back to me!" [sniffle]
average age: 29.
noticeably absent: Clothing. Also: Rachel McAdams, who was booked to be in Tom Ford's place but due to a "conniption of modesty" walked away leaving us forever wondering what she had planned to whisper in Keira's ear. "Come back to me!"?
collective Oscar stats before cover: 1 nomination (Keira's)
collective Oscar stats after cover: none. Keira's Atonement campaign didn't take.
fame levels in 2009, according to famousr, from most to least: Scarlett than Keira.
previous episodes: 1995 ,1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

don't miss the last two episodes and a possible bonus round.

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Wayne B. said...

Aww, it's too bad Rachel McAdams didn't stay, that would've been an awesome cover. A trio of actresses is always better than a duo. Damn that Canadian modesty!

DJ said...

While I think Johansson is one of the blandest actresses... ever, I adore Keira Knightley. I think she'll have a successful career if she continues to pick smart roles. She was stunning in Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, and The Edge of Love. I can't wait to see her in a modern role this year, followed by three very -good-looking-on-paper roles next year.

Anonymous said...

Median Age here is 21. Average is 29.


i'm bad at math

adri said...

The covers with 10 or so actresses in gorgeous gowns are so much more fun. Tom Ford looks like a sleazy toad in this cover, as if it's all about him.

I'm glad that Rachel McAdams said no. It's a pity that now she seems to be blacklisted from Vanity Fair's lists of up and comers. Too bad, because she is showing real range and thoughtfullness in picking her roles and who she works with and learns from. Too bad Vanity Fair can't admit it made a mistake.

Anonymous said...

I never understood Rachel McAdams, while I thought she was decent in Mean Girls. She has NEVER done anything outstanding, yet everyone seems to think she's the greatest actress of her generation. Based on WHAT!!???? Every film I've seen of her's ( except Mean Girls) she's average or mediocre. RachelMcAdams is the definition of overrated ( not to be confused with over exposed i.e. Scarlett, Keira). Can someone give me some outstanding performances of Rachel that I may have missed that shows her exceptional acting skills.

I've Seen
Red Eye
Mean Girls
State of Play
Wedding Crashers
The Family Stone

I know that people say that Scarlett and Keira are overrated, um not really since there aren't that many people who rate them highly. I agree with DJ Scarlett is bland as hell and while Keira isn't the greatest she has her charms.

Seeking Amy said...

I like Keira and Scarlett. Scarlett hasn't been good in a film for while, I loved VCB but she was definitely the weakest link, and I couldn't stand her in The Prestige. I hope she returns to her fine form like in Lost in Translation/Girl with a Pearl Earring/Ghost World/Match Point soon. As for Keira, she should try and strectch a bit. She's good in costume dramas but...can she do anything else?

Ben said...

@Anonymous: Whilst I think it would be difficult to argue that Rachel McAdams is the greatest actress of her generation, I do think her performances, and the roles she's picked have shown real thoughtfulness. I've not seen any other McAdams films than the ones you've listed here but I adore her. None of these films are exceptional but they do cover a wide range of bases. And she does have a certain "charm" about her that Keira and Scarlett don't have. She doesn't pick showy roles (even though I think, given the chance, she'd shine in them) but remains memorable, subtle and believable in both genre films and romantic comedies.

Anonymous said...

What would a non-costume drama be? A porn film?

mrripley said...

nat,why didn't kk's oscar campaign take off?

Guy Lodge said...

Because it was a pretty crowded Best Actress race and she didn't have enough to do in the film?

amir_uk said...

Yeah 2007 was a strong Best Actress year - but it was also one of the few years in recent memory that Oscar was way off the mark (the other being 2003's car crash line-up).

Angelina Jolie was the definite 6th place that year - I think she only narrowly missed out on a much-deserved nom. She was all over the precursors that season.

But I also don't think it's right to say Keira's campaign that year never took off. She did get BFCA, Golden Globe and BAFTA noms that year - only missing a SAG citation to complete the big four. I'd say she was in 7th place for Oscar.

Tang Wei's miracle of a debut performance, however, is another story. I don't get why that didn't take off - especially as they hadn't been averse to foreign first-timers like Keisha Castle-Hughes and Catalina Sandina Moreno in the preceding years.

amir_uk said...

Also I'd say "campaign didn't take off" is more applicable to Scarlett that year. Vanity Fair probably thought - as lots of others did - that she'd get her first Oscar nom for Match Point that year (in Supporting though).


amir... good points.

as far as Tang Wei goes though. Oscar is generally unresponsive to Asian cinema and Asian actors. And I don't think that AMPAS can really be blamed either because they do need an extra push to consider things outside of the big stars and NOBODY gave Wei a push (unless you count my Film Bitch Awards as a push ;).

It's one of my great disappointments every season: critics don't think for themselves anymore. They just choose their favorite heavily marketed Oscar buzzing performance to get behind.

rosengje said...

KK was also in one of those awkward positions of technically having a large supporting role. Her positioning was complicated by the true main character, Briony, being played by three different actresses. I was personally more upset about James McAvoy being snubbed (again!) for his role.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Mcadams is just a case of never living up to the hype. Everyone wants to put her on this pedestal like she’s the second coming of Meryl Streep, but she’s just average. Most of her roles can be played by any other interchangeable White actress. She wants to be picky and choosy with her roles (Which she can cuz she is White) but most of the time she chooses shit. She’s definitely not the best of her generation she’s not even in the top tier. She’s in Kate Winslet’s, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kerry Washington’s generation and they will all shut her down. I tried to get into her, to see what everyone else sees but I can’t she's has no charm, she’s mediocre and everyone thinks shes great wtf? I just came to the conclusion that the Bitch is just average, but people just don’t want to admit that...



@Nikki ... but how do you really feel ;)

I understand both sides of this equation actually. I see potential in her in some roles (noticeably "red eye" because she held the camera really well even if the role wasn't much and "mean girls" of course) but i also have been unimpressed with some of her work (married life in particular) and I feel she's just too hesistant about working.

but her pickiness makes her hard to pin down inviting both excessive praise and underappreciation. i wish she'd work more so we could get a better sense of how good she is or isn't.

mrripley said...

i think she believed her 2006 hype and got picky then all the good roles went to others.

Ryan said...

one of my fav covers.

man did cover girls scarlett and keira (along with Angie, Heath, Jake and George) look sublime.