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Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor (Anatomy of an Actor, #6)

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The Anatomy of an Actor series takes ten roles by a single actor, each studied in a dedicated chapter, and identifies the key elements that made the performances exceptional - carefully examining the actor's craft for both a professional audience and movie fans alike. This title looks at Hollywood icon Tom Cruise. First cast by Francis Ford Coppola in The Outsiders (1983), The Anatomy of an Actor series takes ten roles by a single actor, each studied in a dedicated chapter, and identifies the key elements that made the performances exceptional - carefully examining the actor's craft for both a professional audience and movie fans alike. This title looks at Hollywood icon Tom Cruise. First cast by Francis Ford Coppola in The Outsiders (1983), he gained international notoriety in the mid-1980s thanks to Tony Scott's Top Gun (1986). One of the most sought-after actors, Cruise has oriented his career to blockbusters, with a predilection for action and science fiction, starring in such movies as Michael Mann's Collateral (2004), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (2005), the Mission: Impossible series (1996, 2000, 2006, 2011) and Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion (2013).


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The Anatomy of an Actor series takes ten roles by a single actor, each studied in a dedicated chapter, and identifies the key elements that made the performances exceptional - carefully examining the actor's craft for both a professional audience and movie fans alike. This title looks at Hollywood icon Tom Cruise. First cast by Francis Ford Coppola in The Outsiders (1983), The Anatomy of an Actor series takes ten roles by a single actor, each studied in a dedicated chapter, and identifies the key elements that made the performances exceptional - carefully examining the actor's craft for both a professional audience and movie fans alike. This title looks at Hollywood icon Tom Cruise. First cast by Francis Ford Coppola in The Outsiders (1983), he gained international notoriety in the mid-1980s thanks to Tony Scott's Top Gun (1986). One of the most sought-after actors, Cruise has oriented his career to blockbusters, with a predilection for action and science fiction, starring in such movies as Michael Mann's Collateral (2004), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (2005), the Mission: Impossible series (1996, 2000, 2006, 2011) and Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion (2013).

53 review for Tom Cruise: Anatomy of an Actor (Anatomy of an Actor, #6)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    I read this more for Amy Nicholson than Tom Cruise. I am a fan of Cruise but Nicholson I listen to on two separate podcasts (The Canon & Unspooled) and shes an insightful critic. This isnt a bio but an unpretentious film study of ten of Cruises roles. Two or three of them I was dubious about her including but she made a compelling case each time. There is some biographical and behind the scenes tidbits that keep this fun. Nicholson astutely marks 2005 as the point where Cruises career I read this more for Amy Nicholson than Tom Cruise. I am a fan of Cruise but Nicholson I listen to on two separate podcasts (The Canon & Unspooled) and she’s an insightful critic. This isn’t a bio but an unpretentious film study of ten of Cruise’s roles. Two or three of them I was dubious about her including but she made a compelling case each time. There is some biographical and behind the scenes tidbits that keep this fun. Nicholson astutely marks 2005 as the point where Cruise’s career stopped and re-emerged as the action star we know today. She even cites that as a bit of a tragedy and is critical of some of his choices. I wish this was made more available because I think more people would get into it and discover Nicholson so here’s hoping for the next one. On a personal note, this is the 32nd book I’ve read in 2018 and I’m excited for all the books to come on 2019...zero about Trump.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex Daniel

    I don't consider myself a Tom Cruise fan, or at least I didn't before reading this book. I initially came across it listening to Battleship Pretension, a film podcast, where the author came on to talk about this book she had just written. She herself wasn't a huge Cruise fan either, before writing this book. This small detail makes a world of difference. TOM CRUISE: ANATOMY OF AN ACTOR has the perspective of a curious, unbiased observer. I don't always agree with Nicholson's film criticism, but I don't consider myself a Tom Cruise fan, or at least I didn't before reading this book. I initially came across it listening to Battleship Pretension, a film podcast, where the author came on to talk about this book she had just written. She herself wasn't a huge Cruise fan either, before writing this book. This small detail makes a world of difference. TOM CRUISE: ANATOMY OF AN ACTOR has the perspective of a curious, unbiased observer. I don't always agree with Nicholson's film criticism, but her writing is always direct and thoughtful -- so it goes here as well. The format of the book is pretty straightforward: 9 chapters, each covering an individual film from Cruise's filmography. This serves as part investigation into what makes Cruise "work" as an actor, but it's also a little bit of a biography as well. These deep dives into movies like Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, and Top Gun, are great, and after every chapter, I felt like I ought to go back and rewatch with fresh eyes. Anyways, if you're not a Tom Cruise fan, then you're probably the ideal audience for this book. It's thoughtful and well-considered. It doesn't feel like a hagiography, and at its best, it will allow you to rethink your opinion on Cruise's movies and performances. Definitely worth a look for cinema fans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linds

    I read this because Amy Nicholson is my favorite (contemporary) movie critic. It breaks down and critiques Cruises top 10 iconic roles and performances. I read this because Amy Nicholson is my favorite (contemporary) movie critic. It breaks down and critiques Cruise’s top 10 iconic roles and performances.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gio

    A "book" with nothing to say.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Clasby

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lani

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Rogers

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Cheshire

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

  12. 5 out of 5

    Star King

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Sargent

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sleeping with Ghosts

  15. 4 out of 5

    Griffin Van Malssen

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Stokes

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Murphy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  20. 5 out of 5

    gonzalo ansa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Rose

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jamieson

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baran

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lorin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tucker Stone

  28. 4 out of 5

    Justin Lin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jim Titus

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

  31. 5 out of 5

    Richard S. He

  32. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Bono

  33. 4 out of 5

    Laurianne Uy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  35. 4 out of 5

    John Kussner

  36. 5 out of 5

    Adrian

  37. 5 out of 5

    Darren Lynch

  38. 5 out of 5

    Alani

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ardo

  40. 4 out of 5

    Anjanette

  41. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  42. 4 out of 5

    Emily Carpenter

  43. 4 out of 5

    James Marsh

  44. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  45. 5 out of 5

    Riley

  46. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

  47. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  48. 4 out of 5

    Mike Farmer

  49. 4 out of 5

    Devdatta Dalvi

  50. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  51. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  52. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  53. 5 out of 5

    Michael

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