(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Cinematic Crush: Clive Owen

A consummate dramatic actor who nevertheless has no qualms with taking on more action-orientated roles, Clive Owen has caught our collective eye on more then one occasion, and not just for his smoldering good looks.

Owen first drew critically attention for his impressive lead performances in Bent (playing a gay Nazi concentration camp prisoner) and Croupier, and he stood out in the crowd that was Gosford Park. Starring roles followed in two films (Beyond Borders, with Angelina Jolie, and King Arthur) that, although they ended up failing at the box office, did up his profile enough for him to be on the shortlist to replace Pierce Brosnan as super spy James Bond.

We all know that didn't happen, but Owen found consolation when he won the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, plus an Oscar nomination, for Mike Nichols' Closer. Owen pretty much stole that movie away from stars Julia Roberts and Jude Law, as he later did to Denzel Washington in Inside Man. Before that one, though, he went badass in the graphic novel-brought-to-life Sin City; he'll reprise his role in the sequel (when/if it is ever made).

Last year, Owen turned in his finest performance to date as the reluctant hero of Children of Men. His Theo is a character whose haunted past simmers just below the surface; you can see it clouding his eyes. He aches for redemption, yet is afraid of it; every movement, every gesture that he makes is racked with the guilt of loss and lost opportunities.

Owen's next two films show further proof of his range: first, he'll be seen in another shoot 'em up role in the appropriately titled Shoot 'Em Up (opening this Friday); next, he'll don the period attire of Sir Walter Raleigh in the historical epic Elizabeth: The Golden Age. No matter the role, we'll still keep an eye on him.

Click here for Owen's recent interview with Details Magazine.

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