A 'Closer' Look
Julia Roberts on the cover...again?! Could you cut us some slack with her? I'm sick and tired of seeing her face everywhere and on every magazine cover! I don't like her or her movies; she always plays the same characters over and over. Why wasn't Liam Neeson (now, that's an actor!!) on the cover instead?
Quebec City, Canada
''Wow!'' was my reaction when I saw what must be the most beautiful actress in Hollywood on your cover! Oh, yeah, and Julia Roberts was on the cover too.
I always eagerly await your first Oscar buzz preview (''Oscar's Hopefuls'') because it signals the beginning of Oscar season, when most of my favorite movies are released. However, I was extremely disappointed this year when I read your preview and found that Garden State, a well-written and excellently acted and directed movie, was left off your list. As I remember it, when the movie was released and for quite a while afterward, it had Oscar hopes. Although your predictions in these matters are usually correct, I believe that this is the time when you'll be proved wrong.
AMBER N. BLACK
South Hadley, Mass.
Regarding Dave Karger's article about this year's Oscar hopefuls: He forgot British actress Anne Reid and her marvelous performance in The Mother earlier this year. I hope the Academy does not overlook her.
State of Grace
As a former subscriber, you may have won me back with the long-awaited Topher Grace feature (''Company Man''). He is consistently funny and endearing as Eric Forman on That '70s Show. Is Grace the next Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise? I doubt it, but if he continues in character-driven movies like Traffic and p.s., he may just be the next Kevin Spacey.
In response to your ''Is It Just Us...'' column (News & Notes): My decision to use some of the original Broadway cast members for the film version of Rent is based on meeting all of them to determine if they still appeared young enough to play the roles. I can assure you that all of them appear to be ''twentysomething'' and are incredibly vibrant and youthful. These actors embody something both rare and tragic. They experienced the death of Rent's creator, Jonathan Larson, hours before the show's first preview. The complex emotions and intense feelings fueled each and every one of their performances for nearly two years. These actors bring a richness and depth to these roles that can only exist through life experience. It will be an honor to work with all of them, and we look forward to bringing you a work of emotional power and cinematic integrity.
I am torn about whether I like the idea of using the original Broadway cast for the upcoming film version of Rent. But to say that the people behind the production are ''trying to screw things up'' is not fair. The cast may not be in their 20s anymore, but using older actors for younger roles is certainly not a new concept to Hollywood. Stockard Channing was in her 30s when she starred in Grease, and she played a high schooler. The original cast of Rent is an extremely talented group and I have complete faith that they won't let us Rentheads down. We should give it a chance before we start to judge.