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The John Cusack Bio

The John Cusack Review –

by Nate Lee

Best Film:

Say Anything

He made the movie. The movie made him. "Being John Malkovich" could be a close second, but wasn't tied to John's performance. Fans of Cusack would no doubt put "High Fidelity" in second place.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Bullets over Broadway (Woody Allen's alter ego)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (a journalist, opposite Kevin Spacey)
Max (a Jewish art dealer dealing with a young Hitler)
Runaway Jury (the member of the jury running away with it)
Fat Man and Little Boy (a nuclear scientist)
Cradle Will Rock (Nelson Rockefeller)
Map of the Human Heart
Better Off Dead 
Thin Red Line 
Chicago John:
Say Anything
Grosse Pointe Blank (okay, it's Michigan, but close enough)
High Fidelity
Sixteen Candles
Eight Men Out
Romantic John:
Say Anything
High Fidelity
The Sure Thing
Must Love Dogs 
Quirky John:
Say Anything
High Fidelity
Being John Malkovich
The Grifters
Ice Harvest 
The Real John Cusack:
The Chicago Films

Any of the Chicago films (except Sixteen Candles, where he plays a nerd) show the real John, especially "High Fidelity," which also reveals a true music lover and a romantic lead. Like many of the truly gifted actors streaming out of Chicago in the '80s and '90s, Cusack returns regularly to direct and act in local theatre. That's the real real John. 
Acting Style:
Part of Cusack's genius is in playing a (sometimes high-strung but) really normal Midwestern kid/adult, often in a really not-normal world (sort of the antithesis of sister Joan). He is often at his best in trying to make sense of it all, which makes him an especially compelling romantic lead.
Bits and Quirks:
The fast talk. The buddy chat, particularly with real-life buddy Jeremy Piven. The really dumb mouth agape look. The stance with one shoulder higher, or both up and a cool slouch. Raised eyebrows and a funny relaxed pursing of the lips and a constant nodding of the head. 
Great Scenes:
Say Anything

> The seminal scene, probably copied by thousands of would-be romantics, holding the boom box above his head to declare his love, via serenade, to Ione Skye

Being John Malkovich

> The too-short office
> Going through the hole, into John Malkovich, and then being dumped by the side of the highway

Bullets Over Broadway

> The penchant for talking too much, especially with Dianne Wiest, who sweetly silences him with the ironic plea, "Don't speak. Don't speak."

High Fidelity

> Jack Black's abusing the customers while Cusack looks on helplessly
> Talking to the camera about relationships and music

Grosse Point Blank

> The shoot-out in the convenience store and then rescuing the unappreciative worker

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