Even the most celebrated thespians of our time need summer homes. This week on the HOF we're looking at talented actors in the most shameless money grabs of their careers — those moments when it's time to put on the lizard suit and fill that trust fund for your kids. Here are the Grantland staff's picks for most blatant paycheck movies.
If you read the huge story in The New Yorker last fall about the making of Cloud Atlas — three directors, a gigantic budget, a protracted development process — you would probably assume that the final result would be a mess. And it is. Kind of.
Cloud Atlas is based on a very fancy novel, with six story lines taking place over a span of hundreds of years. The movie's conceit is to have the same actors pop up in all six story lines, sometimes playing opposite-sex characters, sometimes playing characters of other ethnicities (the latter choice leading to criticism of the film for putting several non-Asian actors in "yellowface"). Unlike the book, the film cuts among the story lines from scene to scene, which can be disorienting, but the effect works. Kind of. Cloud Atlas isn't the kind of film one can recommend unreservedly — it's crazy long; it's also just crazy — but I'll say this for it: I was never bored.
We're now waist-deep in awards season, and the Grantland staff would like to take this opportunity to remind all the Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Collar nominees out there that should they have to step up to that podium and take that mic on national television, they owe it to themselves to study up beforehand and see how the pros handle it. Here are our favorite awards show acceptance (and unacceptance) speeches from all corners of the entertainment world.