How have things gone for Adrien Brody since he won the Best Actor Oscar for his work in The Pianist in March ’03? He was the gifted 30ish actor with the striking honker who’d rebounded from career problems and had the macho swagger to soul-kiss Halle Berry on the Oscar stage, but since then…I dunno, you tell me. I greatly admire Brody and have no case against him, but I think it’s fair to use the term “treading water” to describe the last five years. If that.
In ’04 he costarred in M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Village, and then he costarred in Peter Jackson‘s bloated, half-effective King Kong in ’05 — neither film did anything for him. Then came Hollywoodland in ’06 — a mild problem performance for Brody (playing a low-rent, not-brilliant shamus with family relationship issues) in a film that quickly deflated with the public. Then along came The Darjeeling Limited, which was aceptable in some people’s eyes but pretty much a “meh” as far as Brody’s Standard & Poors rating was concerned.
He’s got Sundance-y movies — Rian Johnson‘s The Brothers Bloom, Vincenzo Natali‘s Splice and Darnell Martin‘s Cadillac Records — set to appear over the next several months, and now he’s about to make a Dario Argento thriller called Giallo (an Italian term that refers to a genre of film and literature that is rooted in pulp, horror and erotica) with Emmanuelle Seigner and Elsa Pataky costarring.
Argento is highly regarded in dweeby, hipper-than-thou, Dave Kehr-like circles, but Average Joes regard him as an exploitation hound with style, if they regard him at all. What does it say about Brody that he’s now in bed with Argento? I think Argento is probably benefitting more than Brody from this association, or has Brody been downshifted to a level that makes it an even-steven thing? Put it this way — would the Adrien Brody who’d just won an Oscar five years ago agree to make Giallo?