Sydney Pollack has died or cancer. What a terrible loss – the director of Tootsie, The Way We Were, The Firm, Out of Africa, and so many other films – the kind of movies you never watch just once – he’s no longer with us. He was also a gifted actor, appearing in many memorable scenes from the last couple of decades – Changing Lanes, Michael Clayton, Eyes Wide Shut, The Player, Husbands and Wives.
You know these characters, you perhaps see them in nightmares – conflicted, flawed, impressive – yet with plenty of charisma and common sense approach. I wonder if anyone ever considered casting Sydney as the Devil, or Satan – he’s so deliciously evil and menacing. A great filmmaker, who has given careers to many of today’s blockbuster superstars – and an acclaimed actor. We will miss him. Go and rent those movies – it’s not the lightest fare, but well worth your time.
It’s a wonder how over the past 15 years, the characters he plays kept their depth, wisdom and realness, and the movies – well, he started making those in the 70s – are still relevant today. A drag comedy is not just about a man in drag (Tootsie), and doomed affair in the turbulent 60s is about so much more than that (The Way We Were). Even his last film – The Interpreter – covers so much more than a conspiracy to assassinate a head of state from an African country.
Don’t even get us started on his knowledge of architecture in the ‘Sketches of Frank Gehry’. Just go and rent this illuminating documentary.