Quick! Name two pretty boy actors who rose to stardom on the basis of their good looks and charming personalities, yet yearned to be taken seriously. Robert Redford has established a decent track record for dealing with serious issues over the past three decades, while Tom Cruise still has to overcome his publicity meltdown from a couple of years ago before he can be taken seriously. Lions for Lambs promises to be very serious. It features Cruise as a hawkish senator clashing with a cynical reporter (Meryl Streep) and an idealistic professor, played by Redford, who also directed.

The film had its World Premiere at the London Film Festival on Monday night. Cruise and Redford walked the red carpet and posed for the press. According to The Times of London, "thousands of fans ... pressed up to the barriers." Reportedly, Cruise "insisted on building two hours into the schedule to meet his public. He spent 1 1/2 hours talking to people in the crowd, chatting to their friends and relatives on proffered mobile phones and being photographed with fans." James Christopher, film critic for The Times, was not so impressed: "The film has an almost autistic lack of personality."

Undaunted, the stars jetted down to Rome for another gala screening last night. Instead of just posing, they actually talked to the press and Redford, at least, made his feelings known. "Our country has hit a point where we have lost so much," he said, according to Variety. "We have lost lives, we've lost sacred freedoms, we've lost financial stability; we've lost our position of respect on the world stage." Cruise, on the other hand, sounded like an actual politician when he expressed the hope that the film "will challenge and engage an audience, so that they can come out and have dialogue." Next stop, Hollywood: Lions for Lambs will have its North American Premiere at AFI Fest on Thursday, November 1 before opening in theaters on Friday, November 9. Check out the Cinematical Gallery below to see a lovely selection of photos from last night's dazzling Rome premiere.
categories Cinematical