There is no denying that the dreamy John Cusack is an acting legend. Ever since he was cast as the heartthrob in a bunch of romantic dramas, comedies and heroic action flicks, he has fanned many a flame. He has already proved his mettle as an actor too, able to connect with an audience and delicately weave the stories of his characters, all with enough charisma to mirror a Bruno Mars concert. Jon Cusack is one of America’s best talents. Today, the release of thriller Grand Piano which sees Cusack as a sniper who holds Elijah Wood, an acclaimed hostage at one of his performances. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the best Cusack movies.
Honourable Mention: I flippin' love Identity but it seems the general census doesn't. You should all watch it though.
I can’t lie, I love a bit of this Nicolas Cage guilty pleasure, which sparked the inevitable decline of the actor’s portfolio. But what helps the action along is John Cusack’s U.S Marshal Vince Larkin who is the only character with his feet on the ground. Con Air revolves around a bunch of convicts who are being transported from one prison to another including Cameron Poe, who has strived to serve penance for accidentally killing someone in a bar alteration. But when a serial killer, named Cyrus the Virus, uses this to manipulate events for escape, Larkin and Poe must work together to make sure does men do not escape. It’s fun and mindless but Cusack adds a flare of ingenuity alongside Poe to stop the vicious actions of Cyrus played by John Malkovich.
Speaking of Malkovich, Cusack has a genuine flair of getting inside the master actors head. Literally, in this case with the wonderfully ingenious fantasy comedy drama from uirk duo Charlie Kauffman and Spike Jonze. Also, starring Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener, this tells the tale of a puppeteer who finds a doorway into Malkovich’s head where people can control his every move. It is wildly terrific that has this wonderful spirited element to it that makes it both funny and emotional. It is a film that only Kauffman and Jonze could do together and they pull off a remarkable film with the help of Cusack’s unrecognisable rambunctious character.
We all know what happens when you are invited to a High School reunion and have to talk people you hated about what you are doing now. Most people lie, saying that their jobs are better than they actually are. However, Martin Blank has to lie and make it seem more boring as he is a CIA Opertative turned hit-man. Worse, he’s been off his game recently. Balancing all these lies and romantic feelings for school sweetheart Debi, Martin’s reunion takes a turn when he discovers someone is out to kill him. A pet project for Cusack who wrote the film, it is dry wit and drollness that only he can serve with severe black comedy (and several bodies to boot).
This ultimate romantic film has one of the most copied and spoofed moves in the history of eighties romps. Cameron Crowe’s classic is an intense, beautiful and wholly real affair that is definitive of teenage movies. Cusack solidified his fame here as Lloyd Dobler, an average student with aims to be a kickboxer and a desperate love for Diane Court, a valedictorian whose father is struggling financially and disapproves of their relationship. More famed now for the scene where Lloyd expresses his love (there is a giant boom box and a trench coat, you’ll know I mean,) this film gave Cusack step up in his career as he wholly encompasses the strife and struggles of teenage life after high school. It is gracefully and tactfully engrossing.
One of the best romantic comedies of all time and actually a solid translation of English culture to American. Based on a book by Nick Hornby and moving the action from London to Chicago, High Fidelty is the ferociously smart fourth wall breaking comedy that encompasses easy going, almost slacker-esque theology and the yearning for completion. Witty and intellectual, Cusack starts as record shop owner Rob Gordon who, after splitting up with his girlfriend, goes over his past relationships to see where he is going wrong. Alongside Jack Black (on fine form I might add) and his sister Joan, Cusack is completely realistic, visceral and charismatic at the same time. It’s a brilliant film.
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The Grand Piano is out now!