May 27, 2008

"You're a tomato!"*

I really loved watching Sydney Pollack every time he appeared in a movie. He was amazing as Dustin Hoffman's agent in Tootsie. The scenes where he argues with Hoffman are delightful. He was great in Michael Clayton and even in those nice Cingular commercials about not using cellphones while in the movies. He was a wonderful actor. He produced a great variety of nifty movies big and small. He fought against colorization of black and white films. He had a long, distinguished career in Hollywood. But, let's face it, he was not a brilliant director.
A.O. Scott writes a fitting appraisal of Pollack's work in the NY Times today. He is far more generous with his directorial work than I would be. The only movies of his I like are Tootsie and They Shoot Horses, Don't They. For one, I never saw what people saw in Robert Redford (another nice guy who is better at things other than his day job), so I bypassed stuff like The Way We Were and the Condor films.
Still, I really liked Sydney Pollack. A sad loss for Hollywood.

* I love this scene in Tootsie between Pollack and Hoffman. Hoffman is being a difficult picky actor and Pollack is at the end of his rope. Lovely.

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