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LA Magazine says: Only DDL, Meryl, Denzel and Sean Penn in same league

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  • distain
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    #76957

    I came across an interesting article in Los Angeles Magazine written by the critic Steve Erickson, which was mainly about praising Daniel Day-Lewis for his work in Lincoln. Towards the end of the article Erickson hails Day-Lewis as the greatest living actor, but says only Meryl Streep, Sean Penn and Denzel Washington can lay claim to being his equals. Here is the article;

    http://www.lamg.com/laculture/filmandtv/2012/11/30/there-will-be-blood

    To me this is an interesting statement, because  Penn, Washington and Day-Lewis are all pretty much of the same generation.  Usually, people refer back to the generation that became prominent in the late 1960’s and 1970’s as “the greatest living actors” (DeNiro, Pacino, Hoffman, Nicholson and some others), yet it seems some critics now are becoming more comfortable giving that mantle to the generation that came directly after them.

    Also very interesting that Streep is the only one of the 1970’s generation arguably still held in esteem for what she’s currently still doing (not just for past glories), while her male peer group all seem way past their peak.

    What do people think? Have DDL, Denzel and Penn usurped their elders? And how is Streep keeping up her level for so long? 

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    Logan
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    #76959

    Those are go-to names, but I could think of at least 20 film actors alive that I prefer overall (though I think Washington’s especially talented).

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    Mrs. Doolittle
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    #76960

    Sean Penn doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence as Streep, DDL, and Washington. He’s beyond overrated.

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    distain
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    #76961

    Those are go-to names, but I could think of at least 20 actors alive that I prefer overall (though I think Washington’s especially talented).

    It’s true. I have a preference for other actors as well.

    But putting aside Streep for a second (her case had already been made a long time ago), in terms of the sheer longevity, consistency and hardware they’ve won between them, it’s hard to deny that the 3 men have been the dominant acclaimed actors of the last 20 years. Each has 2 Oscars, and could all realistically win a 3rd, as their powers have not seemed to significantly decline. Penn has won all the major European Festival Best Actor awards (Cannes, Berlin, Venice). Denzel even has a Tony award. It’s an impressive generation of talent. 

    it stacks up well against the 1970’s male group in DeNiro, Pacino, Nicholson and Hoffman. Or the 1950’s trifecta of Brando, Dean and Clift. 

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    Halo_Insider
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    #76962

    Their current relevance does seem to be a factor, as I’d say other men of that age group like Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey are up there, but haven’t been as prominent lately (though Spacey seems to be getting back into the Hollywood scene with “House of Cards”).

     Given how well-respected he generally is by all of his peers, I’m surprised there isn’t a mention of Gary Oldman, who would certainly fit that generational criteria. Likewise, Julianne Moore probably deserves some praise as one of our acting greats.

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    ENGLAND
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    #76963

    Denzel has yet to star in a bad film since winning his Oscar. He makes great choice but Directors/producers/studios know not to give him a bunch of crap.

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    distain
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    #76964

    Their current relevance does seem to be a factor, as I’d say other men of that age group like Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey are up there, but haven’t been as prominent lately (though Spacey seems to be getting back into the Hollywood scene with “House of Cards”).

     Given how well-respected he generally is by all of his peers, I’m surprised there isn’t a mention of Gary Oldman, who would certainly fit that generational criteria. Likewise, Julianne Moore probably deserves some praise as one of our acting greats.

    I can see how Hanks and Spacey don’t quite measure up. For a start, current/overall relevance is probably an important deciding criteria. Day-Lewis, Washington and Penn stand apart because even though all 3 became prominent in the mid-1980’s, there has been no serious decline in their relevance (critically or otherwise) since they became major leading men. Hanks was a huge thing in the 90’s, but has fallen off in a pretty big way. Hanks reads more like being a product of his time (1990’s, feel-good, Clintonian America) than a truly adaptable great actor who can flourish in any condition or era. And Spacey had an even bigger downward spiral (at least as a film actor) after American Beauty. He kept being miscast a lot (the Bobby Darin project should never have happened).

    The staying power and consistency of the 3 men sets them apart. Though I agree that Gary Oldman has shown consistent excellence throughout his career. Peharps the fact that he’s often more a supporting actor than a lead player hurts his standing a bit. He’s certainly the most unrecognised when it comes to awards, which I’ve always found a bit unfair. 

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #76965

    There’s no such thing as “Greatest Actor.”  Every actor in the world is good and bad at specific things.  I guarantee there are things Megan Fox can do that Meryl can’t…  Okay..  Maybe not Megan Fox.. but you get my drift!

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    Laactingnyc
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    #76966

    Even though we have awards and stuff, at the end of the day who’s to say that Meryl’s Performance in this was better than someone elses. You really can’t truly judge art

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    Junk
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    #76967

    I think I’d add Tom Hanks and George Clooney in that list.

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    distain
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    #76968

    I think I’d add Tom Hanks and George Clooney in that list.

    Clooney….no way, imho.

    He’s a fine actor, whose gotten better over the years, but Day-Lewis, Washington and Penn are “actors actors”, who started out brilliant 25 years ago, and stayed brilliant till today. Clooney started around the same time, but was mostly just a pretty face in B-movies abd bad sitcoms. He got his big break on ER, but his acting was still quite weak. He got into films (giving by far the worst big screen performance of any actor to play Batman) and still couldn’t let go of his bad TV actor mannerisms (David O. Russell had to tell him on the set of Three Kings to stop bobbing his head every time he talked, like his did on ER). He’s gotten better, and now gets much better parts, but he’s clearly not the same level of talent as those guys, in my opinion.

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    CoolHandLuke2012
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    #76969

    I wish Gene Hackman didnt retire because I think he could have been on level with those guys, both him and Denzel rise above the material in ways that most actors cant and that includes DDL and Penn. Evenis truely briliant performance in The Royal Tenenbaus issed out on Aademy recognition.

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    Bill Buchanan
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    #76970

    If we’re talking actors who still work on a regular basis (i.e. not nicholson or hoffman), I’d have to add Tom Hanks to that list. Cloud Atlas is his best film in years and years (i.e. since Cast Away in 2000…)

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    seabel
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    #76971

    Washington actors actors? I didn’t know bad action blockbusters were so well received and revered.

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    GhostOrchid
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    #76972

    I don’t know.
    I just think in Meryl’s case the status a being an upcoming legend has started rather early.
    The two acting legends Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davies alreaded responded to her. Hepburn called her “Clic clic clic” while Davies wrote her a personal letter in which she she told her she saw her as her follower.
    Looking at her nominations and honors from the past 30 years, it’s simply breathtaking: 215 noms!!! That’s INSANE!
    So yeah, whenever you agree with her being the “greates” or think she’s overrated (the truth lies somewhere in the middle), but these noms are very impressive, deserved or not. Plus people love to claim her recent films are “bad”,”medicore” and “whatever”, she herself has never recieved a Razzie nom. And though I’d never say “never”, I highly doubt she’ll ever recieve one.

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