“Russell Crowe may be the most misunderstood artist working today. The common perception of the hot-tempered Oscar winner “fightin’ ’round the world” continues to unfairly overshadow the actor’s impressive body of work (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster, Robin Hood, Noah, the list goes on). It’s a damn shame, because people who subscribe to this line of thought are completely missing the fact that Crowe is at heart a craftsman with a singular, intense appreciation for the creative process. Lucky for those of us paying attention that Crowe’s passions are able to come alive in full force through his debut directorial feature, The Water Diviner.”
Crowe’s beauty-seeking, but exoticizing camera is slightly outmatched by his performance, which anchors the film with regret tinged with hope. But what continues to haunt after the credits finish rolling are the film’s explorations of the trauma of life after war: The brutally quick political shifts, the lingering shame of committing vicious and dishonorable acts, and the bitter knowledge that there’s no such thing as lasting peace.
“The thing I liked about Joshua is that he is the Australian I grew up aspiring to be,” says Russell Crowe.
Crowe’s interest stems from when he was young and his father was a hotel manager. On Anzac Day — the equivalent of our Memorial Day — the place would fill up with veterans and he would hear them tell stories.
“There was a camaraderie among the men who would gather to remember the men that they fought with,” he explains. “And I kind of got a sense from them that the grief they had been through and the things they had experienced had actually opened their hearts.”
Most veterans, he notes, are reticent to talk about their battlefield experiences, “But the indelible impression that it left with them was how precious life is.” – at LADaily News
The film gives a lot of space to emotions, but Crowe reins in his outsized personality to contribute an affecting, understated performance and, as director, underplays the allegories, particularly the recurring water motif, so they seep through the narrative organically. He also has surrounded himself with talented co-stars — Ryan Corr’s heartrending turn in the grisly flashback battlefield scenes is particularly memorable — and a top-drawer crew. Oscar-winner Andrew Lesnie’s (The Lord of the Rings) cinematography is so exquisite that sometimes it alone propels the story.
… And while he’s away filming movies, Russell admits he is often left feeling heartbroken by the distance between himself and his children.
“[It’s] very tough. It’s the most difficult thing. You’re asking me on the wrong day. I spent nearly two hours this morning sitting by myself watching videos of my children. How sad is that, right? Sad, old, lonely man,” he told USA Today.
Russell is currently promoting his new film The Water Diviner, which he starred in and directed. The Hollywood A-lister can’t wait to finish promotional efforts so he can get back home to Australia and be with his boys.
But when Russell returns to the family farm, he’s sure his day-to-day existence will likely be business as usual. “It will just be normal stuff and I’ll just be dad. I’ll be their taxi driver and whatever they need,” he smiled before noting, “I’m older.”
Russell had a visit with good friends Hugh Jackman and Deborra Lee Furness today at the SoHo House in the Meatpacking District. From Hugh’s Instagram, below. ‘Just saw RC’s movie, The Water Diviner,’ he wrote, ‘Opens Friday in the states. Loved it. Congrats Rusty! #TheWaterDiviner @russellcrowe.’
“The Water Diviner, the Russell Crowe-directed and starring Australian historical drama opened in France, Belgium, Netherlands and French-Switzerland. It grossed an estimated $410K at 217 dates in the four markets. France took in about $276K at 142 locales. Belgium grossed an estimated $47K in 24 runs. And the Netherlands brought in $55K at 42 dates while French-Switzerland was good for $36K in nine locales. Universal’s total cume including earlier releases in Australia $12.8M and New Zealand $610K is $13.8M. Universal will release the Award-winning film in seven more European territories.” – from Deadline.com – thanks Steph
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