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More than a few readers expressed concern for Tom Hanks after seeing him on our waterlogged Cast Away cover – and it wasn’t just because of the Oscar winner’s weight-loss regimen (#573, Dec. 15). ”Apparently the Ebola virus has gotten to Hanks’ right arm!” yells Greg Thow of Denver. Martin Korstanje of Hamilton, Ontario, writes: ”Hanks may have survived the toughest role of his career, but it would seem his right hand didn’t fare so well. What’s with the grisly, rotting pulp?” (Chill, people – it’s just the water’s refraction.) Meanwhile, the Christian Bale coalition got all American Psycho on us for not including the hunk in our Oscar watch. Asks Heather A. Hughes of Honolulu, ”How could you overlook such a smashing portrayal of ’80s yuppiedom?”


I enjoyed your article on Cast Away (”Ashore Thing?”) by Chris Nashawaty, and was gripped by the trailer. However, it stirred some deja vu. Aside from the recent Survivor, there was another little movie a few years ago (okay, 21) that had the ”castaway” theme: The Black Stallion. (A boy and a wild horse escape from a sinking ship together and survive on a deserted island.) You marvel in your interview with Hanks that he risked an hour of no one talking, yet in The Black Stallion, there was a large block of time where you heard little more than a horse’s neigh and the crash of surf. It was one of the most gripping, beautiful, and memorable parts of the movie. I hope Hanks has some equally special moments in his film, with Wilson the volleyball as a companion! ANDREA PARENT Newton, Mass.

Our prudish American movies: Stranded on an island for years and Tom Hanks wears a loincloth? Does he think a monkey will see his rear end? KURT SIPOLSKI Palm Desert, Calif.


I was shocked and dismayed that you overlooked the fabulous Christian Bale for Best Actor in American Psycho in your Oscar predictions articles (News & Notes). I was sure that EW would notice what a fantastic job he did in the film. His portrayal of Patrick Bateman was eerily disgusting and pathetically sad at the same time – a role that most actors in Hollywood would not have the guts to pull off. Shame on you, EW, for not seeing what I saw in such an accomplished actor! SAMANTHA McCULLOUGH Alexandria, Va.


Thanks for asking John Taylor ”stupid questions” (TV)! He’s such a talented musician and actor, not to mention pretty easy on the eyes. It’s nice to see that EW tries to cover all entertainers, not just the ones who are in our faces every day. I loved Dan Snierson’s comment about John’s bass playing on ”Rio” rocking his face. That about sums up the feelings of all of John’s fans. SAIRA DEEN Cambridge, Ontario


Thank you, EW, for giving Felicity, starring Keri Russell, the adulation it so richly deserves (TV). Ken Tucker hit on every aspect of the show that makes it so outstanding. I only hope that more people will be turned on to this quirky, funny, and wonderfully written show before it gets canceled. Too bad Jack & Jill has to interrupt such a great show that just gets better every week. JENNIFER McLAUGHLIN New Wilmington, Pa.


In your internet section you quote Geoffrey Rush as saying, ”There’s no secret establishment in the deserts of Australia where they’re turning out hunky men and beautiful women ready to invade the village of Hollywood.” Don’t believe him! He’s obviously part of an Australian conspiracy, trying to throw up a smoke screen to hide the truth of Australia’s blatant hoarding of superior genes.

I plan to lead an expedition into the heart of the continent, find said establishment, and confiscate all their results. We’ll set up base camp at Russell Crowe’s ranch. L. SUMRALL Greeneville, Tenn.


I disagree with your rating of a C for the Richard Farnsworth section of the Avonlea Lives Forever website (Internet). Ann Limpert laments the fact that ”the page hardly shows this cowboy’s range.” It is a very modest look at Farnsworth’s career, yes, but then Farnsworth was a very modest man. I think he’d be proud of it. Also, when reviewing fan-created websites, you should keep in mind that most of them would fall into the ”hobby” category, in that the webmasters may have full-time careers or be full-time students. As part of a much larger Avonlea website, the small glimpse into the career of Richard Farnsworth deserves at least a B+ if not an A. BRENDA GARDENER Sun Prairie, Wis.



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