It's an interesting moment for Tobey Maguire.
When he was playing Spider-Man on a regular basis, Maguire was a movie star by default. If you star in a film that makes $800 million or so worldwide, you're potentially bankable. If you star in two, you're a potential star. You star in three? That's a rare club. Maguire's done it. Three giant giant movies.
But aside from those three films, has he ever really opened a movie? I like a lot of his work. I just wrote about "Ride With The Devil" the other day, and a big part of that film's sucess is Maguire's work. He's very real, very sincere and sweet as a guy who does some brutal things during the Civil War. I'm hoping there's a Criterion Blu-ray version of "The Ice Storm" coming soon, because I love that movie. That's my favorite film of 1997, and the work of the young cast like Maguire and Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood is a big part of why I think the film is amazing. "Pleasantville" and "Wonder Boys" are both rich and interesting films I'll happily discuss with anyone at length. Films that reward return visits. So Maguire's got taste. He's capable of doing really strong and challenging work. I root for him. I like enough of what he's done to feel invested. You know how it is for some actors... you just plain like them on film.
But I do wonder... is Tobey Maguire a movie star by any conventional definition at this point?