Last year inspired a number of website and magazine features paying homage to 1999, which Esquire dubbed “the last great year in movies.” It was inarguably a golden year for film lovers, but amid all the praise for groundbreaking films like Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, Fight Club, The Blair Witch Project, and The Matrix, one of the finest movies of 1999 has been largely overlooked: The Talented Mr. Ripley, director Anthony Minghella’s psychological thriller based on the 1955 Patricia Highsmith novel. When Ripley was released in December 1999, its stars were all in their early prime: Matt Damon was the likable fellow from Good Will Hunting and Saving Private Ryan, Gwyneth Paltrow was Hollywood’s hottest young actress, Jude Law was teetering on the brink of mega-stardom, Cate Blanchett was coming off Elizabeth, and Philip Seymour Hoffman was already an icon of the new indie film boom.
The most famous — and valuable — people in Hollywood today are fictional characters. Today Vulture released its annual ranking of Hollywood’s Most Valuable Stars. Using a formula that weighs hard data like box office numbers and intangibles like likeability, the site determined an A-list pecking order that — inadvertently or not — reflects the monumental shift that continues to reshape the movie industry as actors become more and more subservient to the franchises they headline.
Methodology: During a scuffle in which both fighters are pulled underwater — with a huge shark swimming nearby, mind you! — Bond forces Kananga to ingest an inflation pellet. Kananga becomes buoyant and begins expanding, eventually rising out of the water like a balloon before finally exploding. Bond’s waterlogged send-off — “He always did have an inflated opinion of himself” — is perfectly dry.
Hollywood rumor mills are belching smoke this week, with unconfirmed reports linking big-name actors with several high-profile roles.