Cider with Tobey

He’s finally made novelist John Irving happy about one of his novels being adapted for the big screen. And, in The Cider House Rules, TOBEY MAGUIRE outshines Oscar nominee Michael Caine. So, why has he been overlooked at this year's Oscars? ‘.‘.’oids: Miles Fielder

At the london l'lllll Festival premiere of The Cider House Rules, festival director Adrian Wooton introduced Tobey

‘We had what I suppose you

would call a comic

relationship, based on how

fortunate we were to be working with each other.’ Michael Caine on Tobey Maguire

ilaguue as the leading American actor of his generation. High praise for Maguire, who al'o had a leading role in the I(‘Sll‘.’(li opening night film, Ride With llie Der/l. Stumbling onto stage, Juggling an overflowrng box of popcorn ‘.‘.’|li1 a coke (up, Maguire

managed a few words of thanks and a ’hope you enjoy the movie’. Hardly an auspicious introduction to the film and the actor. And when it comes to The Cider House Rules’ Academy Award

recognition, Maguire has been overlooked. The film has been nominated for seven Oscars

including best picture, director (Lasse Hallstrbm), adapted screenplay (John Irving) and supporting actor (Michael Caine) but no best actor.

Yet, Maguire’s CV speaks volumes. Debuting in Griffin Dunne’s Oscar- nominated short film, Duke Of Groove, Maguire secured a number of small parts in This Boy’s Life, alongside friend Leonardo DiCaprio, the little seen S.F.W., Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and Deconstructing Harry before earning larger and leading roles in The lce Storm, Pleasantvi/le and the

aforementioned London Film Festival premieres.

The Cider House Rules’ principals have also garnished Maguue with praise: ’We had what I suppose you would call a comic relationship, based on how fortunate we were to be working with each other,’ says Caine. ’He’s a wonderful, wonderful actor.’ Lasse HallstrOm agrees: ’He’s subtle and yet rich

and funny, in a low key way.’ While Irving, who’s known to have been disappomted with the prevrous adaptations of his books, says: ’Tobey’s the star of the film . . . He makes the most of the visual language the film relies on, with expreSSions that tell you


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Tobey Maguire, leading actor of his generation

everything you need to know about hun.’

In The Cider House Rules, Maguire plays Homer Wells, an orphan who inherits the medical mission of his mentor and surrogate lather, Dr larch

preview FILM

(Came), but not before undertaking a small-sc ale odyssey around Maine circa 1940. By contrast, Ang lee's Ride With The Devil sees Maguire playing a reluctant hero of the American civil war. He has a knack for choosing interesting roles in quality films, but his agenda is pretty straightforward: ’What appeals to me is a good script, good director, good part. It’s all really quite unportant,’ says Maguire, matter- of-factly. ’Are there any certain traits I specdic'ally look for? Not really,’

’Lasse and Ang are both very good directors and they have very different approaches,’ he continues ’Cider House and Ride With The Devil are very different films. Ride With The Devil took a lot of preparation to do it in an authentic: way. Ang is very detailed and prepared. Lasse is very generous and open. The first time I met wrth lasse we had a three hour COHVQTSdlIOlI about llonier Wells and how he was going to be portrayed and how Lasse was gomg to do the movre. We were Just right in synch, he was very open to my contrrbutrons.’

Maguire’s next film sees him playing another very different role. In contrast to the level-headed sons of The Ice Storm and P/cwasantvi/le, Curtis 'LA Confidential’ Hanson’s The Wonder Boys casts Maguire as a young, brilliant and surcidal student. Are there any other directors Maguire would like to work With? ’Ciood ones,’ says the nonchalant Maguire. ’| Just want to challenge myself}

The Cider House Rules opens Fri 24 Mar. See review, page 28



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