Every so often an actor comes along who completely blows away audiences and critics alike, and for our generation that actor is Adrien Brody. Born and raised in New York City, Brody knew at the young age of 12 that he wanted to be in show business when he performed magic acts at birthday parties. Brody’s mother, photographer Sylvia Plachy, encouraged her son’s interest in the arts and enrolled him in acting classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Brody also attended the High School for the Performing Arts. Brody first appeared in a PBS movie in 1988 entitled “Home at Last.” In 1993, he acted in Steven Soderbergh’s drama “King of the Hill,” which earned the star critical praise but little public notice. Over the next five years Brody appeared in such films as “Angels in the Outfield,” “The Last Time I Committed Suicide” and Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line.” However, all of these films failed to give Brody the recognition he deserved.
It was not until 1999 when people started to take notice. Brody played punk-rocker Ritchie in Spike Lee’s bio-drama “Summer of Sam,” which chronicled the Son of Sam killings. Brody was finally getting the acknowledgment he had worked so long to obtain.
In 2002, Brody was cast as the lead in Roman Polanski’s holocaust drama “The Pianist.” Brody portrayed real-life survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew who escaped Nazi persecution in a Warsaw ghetto in World War II. “The Pianist” garnered Brody worldwide acclaim as well as several acting nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press and Screen Actors Guild, but it was his Best Actor Academy Award nomination that meant the most. At age 29, Adrien Brody became the youngest Academy Award winner for Best Actor. With a look of utter shock on his face Brody accepted the award and delivered a heart-warming speech thanking his mother and a childhood friend who was then serving in Iraq.
Adrien Brody is a truly talented actor who is completely dedicated to any film he undertakes. With looks and talent that resemble a young Al Pacino, Brody is set to be in the business for a long time to come. His next big block-buster is M. Night Shyamalan’s creature thriller “The Village,” which was shot in Chadds Ford and opens in theaters July 30.
However, not all of Adrien’s films are award-worthy. Recently released on DVD is “The Singing Detective,” starring Robert Downey, Jr., Brody and Robin Wright Penn. The film centers on Downey’s character, an author by the name of Dan Dark who has been committed to a hospital with a severe skin disease. Dark is feverish and paranoid and has the misfortune of hallucinating the plot line of his first book. He confuses himself with the main character of the book, a detective investigating the murder of a woman in 1950s Los Angeles.
The film is filled with bizarre musical numbers reminiscent of the movie “Grease.” Brody portrays a rogue cop in the film and adds some much needed comic relief to the movie. The DVD contains no extra features except commentary from the director. “The Singing Detective” is an incoherent musical disguised as a cop drama that is best left on the video store shelf.
In the end, with an amazing talent and an old Hollywood appeal, Adrien Brody is destined to have a long-lasting career in film.