Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Bradley Cooper is the new Matthew McConaughey

The star of The Hangover has crossed over to respectability with some aplomb.

Sun, Mar 24, 2013, 15:15


Is that headline entirely fair? Bradley Cooper was never the subject of McC-style repeated slurs from trivial-minded wastrels such as your current hack. But, when he first broke ground with The Hangover, nobody much expected Brad to  become a “proper actor”. He was the bloke from Alias. He’d turned up in modest films such as Yes Man and He’s Just not that Into You. He seemed all right. But he was just a bit too dishy to take seriously. After The Hangover, he crashed in disasters such as All About Steve and Case 39. The less said about the awful The A Team the soonest mended. You, sir, look like mid-grade beefcake.

But he turned out to be a bright fellow with good taste. It probably says something about the linguistic incompetence of Anglophone nations that a clip of him speaking French went modestly viral last year. Goof grief! What’s that all about? Did nobody tell him that bellowing rudely in English does the trick just as well.

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He then went on to show us. He was great in the smashing thriller Limitless (based on our own Alan Glynn‘s The Dark Fields). But that was still seemed within his comfort zone.  Then Bradley’s turn in Silver Linings Playbook secured him an Oscar nomination and suddenly proper grown-directors were clawing one another to get at the rugged Pennsylvanian. This post arrives courtesy of Derek Cianfrance’s upcoming The Place Beyond the Pines. The modestly epic crime drama finds Bradley holding his own against the hitherto more respectable Ryan Gosling. Then we have, inevitably, The Hangover Part III. What’s this? Much-admired Dane Susanne Bier has placed him alongside Silver Linings’ Jennifer Lawrence for her upcoming Serena. The niftily monickered Untitled David O Russell Project and Untitled Cameron Crow Project will both emerge in 2014.

Fair enough. We need decent actors who have faces that don’t curdle milk. Moreover, Cooper comes across as a  genuinely decent fellow with few aggressive edges. His career management has been impressive. Affairs with celebrities have been conducted with some  discretion. We, hereby, turn all available thumbs in an upward position. Check out Pines for yourself on April 12th.

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