Monday, March 19, 2018
A month at the movies #18: The Thomas Crown Affair
A friend of mine used to work as an entertainment reporter for a big British newspaper and I once asked her who the dumbest celebrity she ever interviewed was. She didn't hesitate, and said that while he was pretty charming and devastatingly handsome, she had met cats and dogs that were smarter than Pierce Brosnan.
I wish she hadn't told me that, because it destroyed this film. I can't take him seriously as a brilliant business mastermind who commits the ultimate high stakes robbery and con job, just because he can. All those looks of smouldering intent as Crown studies some of the great art of our time, or his steely determination in the boardroom, and he's probably thinking about what he's having for lunch.
I'm still totally down Rene Russo as the investigator who tracks him down, because Rene Russo always, always looks like she's the smartest person in the room. It makes it harder to think she's outfoxed by Brosnan's Crown throughout the film, because she should be able to clock him with ease.
It's easy to still buy Brosnan's Bond, because James Bond should always be a bit of a brutal thug - a brilliant lateral thinker, but not one for decent small talk. Thomas Crown is supposed to be one of the smartest guys on the planet, and I just can't see it anymore.
(The lovely wife also worked in entertainment journalism for a while and she always maintained that the smartest guy she ever interviewed was Bryan Cranston, which should come as a surprise to nobody and only makes his Hal or Heisenberg even better.)