Okay, so we’re going to start this new and probably intermittent feature with probably the biggest star on the planet for the past thirty years. Tom Cruise has featured as performer in a surprising forty-one movies at time of writing and he has covered a multitude of genres in his astounding career.
For this feature, we’re going to have a look my top five favourite performances from the great man. This short list may not be to everyone’s liking, but opinions are like arseholes, right? These are my favourites, yours might be different. That’s okay too.
3. THE COLOR OF MONEY (1986) (Vincent Lauria) Dir, Martin Scorsese
If you care to cast a glance at the movie poster, you can see the established Cruise all over it, but this adaptation from the book of the same name by Anne Rice was arguably the vehicle that truly brought Brad Pitt to the attention of the blockbuster masses. Concentrating on the largely miserable undead afterlife of Louis de Pointe du Lac, played by Pitt, this sees Cruise play his ‘creator’ and mentor in all things Vampire, Lestat, a beautifully soulless creature devoted to pleasure, luxury and hedonism. Cementing the canon forever in timeless cinematic glory, it also featured a young Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas to name but a few. an exquisitely hopeless reminder that you truly need ot be careful what you wish for.
1. MAGNOLIA (1999) (Frank T J Mackey) Dir, Paul Thomas Anderson
The search for happiness and meaning for a collection of interconnected people in the San Fernando Valley. Hailed as a genuine classic even at time of its release, Paul Anderson gathers a stellar cast of actors to portray a fascinatingly eclectic group of people that he himself created. Cruise was nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for his role as Frank Mackey, the motivational speaker with serious parental issues. Here too, you can find Jason Robards, in his final film, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in what might have been his best ever performance, William H Macy, Julianne Moore, John C Reilly and the outstanding Philip Baker Hall. A fierce ensemble of truly gifted artists coming together to create something breathtaking was Anderson’s goal and he achieved it incredibly. This remains Tom Cruise’s best performance to date and it is unlikely ever to be bettered.
The Near Misses;