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An Appreciation of Joaquin Phoenix, Nicole Kidman, and Matt Dillon in the movie To Die For

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I loved To Die For, and if my Introduction omits to mention Wayne Knight, it's only because I'm at a loss to remember him in anything but Seinfeld -- the jolly fat U.S. Postman who Jerry always greeted with a supercilious, "Hello, Neeeeewman!"

Moreover, I really can't find anything funny and/or negative to say about Joaquin Phoenix; which may simply be due to the fact that he is a very very fine actor, and proved it for all time portraying John C. Cash in the 2005 movie Walk the Line.   (My restraint also very likely reflects the fact that Mr. Phoenix is an active animal-rights person.)

Howsoever, there follow Wikipics of Joaquin Phoenix, Nicole Kidman and Matt Dillon.   And regarding them, Dillon was totally excellent in Factotum and, as somebody said, he did become the finest "good-looking young actor of his generation."   And Nicole Kidman - out of Australia and in To Die For -- Well frankly, she's bloody Awful !



Joaquin Phoenix (2005), by Wikipedia

Animal Rights Activist and Actor Joaquin Phoenix at the Toronto International Film Festival (2005).

To Die For poster (1995), by Wikipedia

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Nicole Kidman in the To Die For movie poster.

Matt Dillon (2009), by Wikipedia

Matt Dillon in 2009.

Sure, it's Nicole's role in To Die For to be a TV bimbo, with TV good looks and a TV personality, who gets almost every man bonered who watches her for more than approximately 5 seconds, but I ask you, Who Cares?   Was Nicky so down and out in 1995 that she had to take this role?  I don't think so.  In any case, I've tipped my hat to her major co-stars in the movie, and this piece does begin "An Appreciation of.....Nicole Kidman," so I must say:

The movie works, which it never could have without Kidman's almost-total banality; I say "almost-total" because near the end, she does exhibit consciousness.   Moreover, it's Ms. Kidman who emits half the howler explaining TV's popular appeal -- see below.         

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So, Dillon and Kidman marry in the movie; Dillon is an Italian-American, and his sister, Janice Maretto (perfectly played by Illeana Douglas), is the character in the movie providing the earliest clues to answering the question graphically posed just before the movie ends: Is Matt Dillon's father connected?  

Howsoever, my wrap of To Die For is a quotation from the two most impressive woman actors in the movie, which convinces the viewer that after all it might just be the greatest movie ever made about TV:

"You're nobody in America unless you're on TV." -- Nicole Kidman.   And, "...being on TV makes you a better person." -- Alison Follard.


I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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