Sydney Pollack has died and I'm all broke up about it. I adored Sydney Pollack. There was something about when Sydney acted in a movie or on a television show, no matter how small the part, that made me blissfully happy and would immediately elevate said movie or TV show to something greater then mere mediocrity. As a matter of fact I just found out that he plays Patrick Dempsey's dad in the new film Made of Honor which means I'm going to have to see that cheesefest now! Oh and by the way he was a damn fine director too!
Here's a short list of the things I love about Sydney:
He played Will's dad on Will & Grace. Oh my goodness, he was loveable in this role! It was after seeing his myriad guest appearances here that made me wish that Sydney Pollack was my dad. Or that my dad could at least in part be like Sydney Pollack: kind, warm, accepting, yet open to admitting his flaws. That's what a dad should be! Lucky, lucky Will!
The Way We Were gets me every time! I don't care what anyone says. I love this schmaltzy romance! Robert Redford is so handsome and charming and Barbra Streisand is so goofy and feisty. And of course I love when my pop culture collides and in SATC Season Two when Carrie meets up with Big and says of his bride-to-be Natasha, "Your girl is lovely, Hubble" I screamed with joy!
Out of Africa - the man could direct a romance, let me tell you! Robert Redford again, Meryl Streep as beautiful as she ever was, a hair washing scene to make a girl's toes curl! Oh and it only won seven Academy Awards including two for Pollack!
Not only directed Tootsie but played the agent to perfection!
In Husbands and Wives he even made smarmy somewhat charming. Sydney Pollack plus Woody Allen was a match made in Heaven.
He was the best thing about Eyes Wide Shut. Apparently Harvey Keitel had to drop out so Sydney stepped in and hooray for us because he is awesome.
He directed my beloved Paul Newman to an Oscar nomination. If you want to see a great film about the ethics of journalism, watch Absence of Malice.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is one crazy, f*cked up film! Have you ever seen this??? It's about a bizarro Depression Era dance marathon where people basically kill themselves by dancing for weeks on end to win $1500. This movie still holds the record for most Oscar nominations (nine) without a Best Picture nomination! In another wonderful pop culture reference there is an awesome, pivotal episode of Gilmore Girls called They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They in which Rory and Lorelei compete in the annual Stars Hollow Dance Marathon.
There is more than this, but all this Pollack reminiscing is making me even sadder so I'm going to stop now. Thanks for the memories Sydney! You will be missed behind and in front of the camera!
Now for your viewing pleasure I am including some great youtube stuff:
Sex & The City episode where the girls talk about the film and then their version of the same scene:
An early scene from They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
A small snippet from They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?
Sydney in Tootsie: