Top 25 Star Disses: David Thomson, Insult Comic Dog
Can one crusty Brit hawking his New Biographical Dictionary of Film snuff out Oscar stars? Nope. But he's funny. Here are David Thomson's latest victims, from "puffy" DiCaprio to "spoilt brat" Tom Cruise:
In the new edition of Thomson's classic compendium of quirky insights, he challenges critic John Simon's title as Grand Inquisitor of Transylvania, and makes it awkward for himself to be trapped in an elevator in 2011 with:
Leonardo DiCaprio: "Beginning to look a touch puffy ... that touch of fey magic he once had has slipped from his face."
Ben Affleck: "Boring, complacent and criminally lucky to have got away with everything so far."
Tom Cruise: "The worst of the spoilt brats of Hollywood."
Hilary Swank: "Pretty, dull, ordinary and incapable of lifting the film clear of a sanctimonious mud."
Angelina Jolie: "The carnal embrouchure that is her mouth [could] blind anyone."
Keira Knightley: "About as interesting as a creme brulee where too much refrigeration has killed flavor with ice burn."
Hugh Grant: "A refugee from Thirties theatre -- or an incipient sneeze looking for a vacant nose."
Matt Damon: "A squashed and rebuilt face."
Harrison Ford: "A limited, anxious actor."
Meryl Streep: "She has problems now with seeming natural."
Demi Moore: "She has no dramatic sense."
Bill Nighy: "Somewhere between a scarecrow and a faded aristocrat."
Richard Gere: "He has been in enough bad films to make one think his career was drawing to a close."
John Cleese: "This great man is no longer funny."
Cate Blanchett: "Prone and unconscious for most of Babel; implausible in Notes on a Scandal; again in Elizabeth ... unbelievable and undesirable [in] Benjamin Button. Enough?"
Brad Pitt: "Hardly anything he touches now is less than 'precious' and 'awesome.'"
Steve Martin: "Fundamentally averse to acting."
Bruce Willis: "Makes quantities of commercial junk, where his raised eyebrows soar into the space left by his receding hairline."
Ralph Fiennes: "Acts as if he would rather be offscreen."
Catherine Zeta-Jones: "It is a prettiness that tends to fade early."
Hugh Jackman: "He is hot (I suppose). Now, he just needs to be interesting."
Nicolas Cage: "If he doesn't have enough money yet to settle for taking a risk, then what is the point of money?"
Jennifer Aniston: "Her £5-million-a-movie career cannot go on for much longer."
Michelle Pfeiffer: "Still carries the rather stunned, obedient air of a checkout girl at the supermarket."
Julie Christie: "Sadly, obvious in her efforts ... gawky, self-conscious and lantern-jawed."
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Scott, whose THR coverage appears both in print and online, is one of the film industry's most experienced and trusted awards analysts, and possesses one of the strongest track records at forecasting the Oscars. His best showings came in 2006 and 2013, when he called 21 of 24 winners; he was also the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). An alumnus of Brandeis University, he previously ran "The Feinberg Files" blog for the Los Angeles Times. He is now a voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and is writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 350 high-profile Hollywood figures.
Gregg contributes awards news, features online, and "The Race" column in print.
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