Monday, October 22, 2007

Week 20: Breach

A Letter to Sean Penn:
Dear Sean, how are you? Are you still all stressed out about the Iraq war? I know, buddy, it sucks, right? But I think you should consider focusing on something closer to home. Like, say, your career. Because I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your title of “HIS GENERATION’S GREATEST ACTOR” has recently been stripped. Yes, I am sorry, but it is true. Chris Cooper just won it from you.

Now, now, un-furrow that ridiculously furrowed brow, Mr. Penn. Don’t put that cigarette out on my arm. And please do not strike out at me in a fit of violent rage a la your paparazzi attack of 1985. You are a good actor. Nay – great. Even though your legions of adoring critics seem to have forgotten that you are also the actor who starred as the baked surfer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. And that you played a retarded person, badly, in I Am Sam. Notice I didn’t even mention that piece of crap with Michael Douglas, the Game. Hey, stop wincing Sean, it wasn’t that bad. What? You’re not wincing? That’s just how your face is. Oh.

I digress. You really did some great acting in some great films. But let’s be honest here. Chris Cooper is just astonishingly good. Have you seen Breach, Sean? Go rent it right now. He will knock your socks off. His portrayal of CIA spy Robert Hanssen is so beautifully tormented that you will actually find yourself feeling sympathy for our country’s most devastating spy.

I fell hard for the talents of Chris Cooper in Adaptation. God, he was brilliant. My sister-in-law Erin just reminded me that he outshined the put-on-your-sunglasses-shiny Meryl Streep in that film.

And remember him in American Beauty? In my humble opinion, his subtle acting stole the show from Kevin Spacey’s prissy performance. I even love him in the Bourne series, even though his role is boxy and trite. Still, he is so powerful on screen that he commands your attention in a way that is completely relatable. And for that we award him the title of HIS GENERATION’S GREATEST ACTOR.

Also…he was never married to Madonna.

So, there you have it, Sean. Again, I’m sorry to bring you this news, but it was necessary. If it helps you get through it, there is still a crisis in Darfur. And Pakistan has really been acting out for attention lately, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Later, Sean,
The Motley Queue

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