The Movie Star Is Dead

Movies are driven by ideas now, not people: Peter Bart
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 1:50 PM CDT
In this film publicity image released by Universal Pictures, Julia Roberts, left, and Tom Hanks are shown in a scene from "Larry Crowne."   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Bruce Talamon)

(Newser) – The Hollywood Boulevard premiere for Larry Crowne felt like a time warp—here was a red carpet event for a simple romance selling itself on genuine starpower. There’s just one problem: The movie was pretty lame. “Oops, here we go again,” writes Variety exec Peter Bart in the Wall Street Journal. “Star-driven movies seem to be an extinct species as young audiences world-wide obsess over big-concept action movies and digital extravaganzas.”

“To studio hierarchs, the lesson is that the moment belongs to the Big Idea rather than the Big Star,” Bart writes, asking—as you knew he would in this kind of article—where today’s Katharine Hepburns and Humphrey Bogarts are. “I would argue that the talent is at hand,” he says, “but the studios don't know how to nurture what was once their most valuable resource. … The obsessive drive is to find the next Spiderman,” not the next Bogart.

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