From Hartnett to Hudson, we offer advice to 22 floundering Tinseltown talents
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Career high point: "Leaving Las Vegas"
Career low point: Let's just go with "now".
How to fix it: There are essentially two schools of thought on Nicolas Cage: A) those who believe he's a good-to-great actor who now takes any bad movie he's offered in an effort to pay off his widely-publicized private debts; and B) those who think he's a bad-to-mediocre (over-)actor who somehow had a good performance coaxed out of him by Mike Figgis for his Oscar-winning turn in "Leaving Las Vegas". And yet while the focus over the last half-decade or so has rightly been on his recent string of hammy performances in a seemingly-endless parade of crappy genre movies, Cage has also given a couple of what many would argue are good hammy performances in both "Kick-Ass" and, especially, Werner Herzog's bizarre-o 2009 effort "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans". At the end of the day Cage may need to focus on getting his personal problems sorted out before he can make a career turnaround, but when he's ready to make the commitment, it's worth remembering that he's usually best when paired with an equally-quirky director who truly gets his brand of lunatic energy (think Herzog with "Bad Lieutenant", Spike Jonze with "Adaptation", or John Woo with "Face/Off") and knows how to milk a truly inspired performance from it.
- Chris Eggertsen