Indeed, I do, because Russell Crowe, the distinguished Academy Award winner actor from Down Under played a key role in my 10-year-old son's phenomenal homemade Christmas gift to me.
I'd have to say it was the Best Gift Ever.
My son is well aware of my appreciation of Mr. Crowe's great thespian gifts, so, all on his own, he came up with the idea of creating a book for me: a biography of Russell Crowe, complete with his biography, filmography, and hot Russell Crowe pics, including a couple from Gladiator with Russell in his sword-and-sandal epic duds.
I know it's kind of fashionable to bash Russell as an egomanical, hot-headed jerk (and Robert Downey Jr. did a good Russell spoof in Tropic Thunder.) But Russell was pretty amazing in the first film I saw him in, LA Confidential, and then in The Insider.
In fact, both those films, not Gladiator, are among two of my favorite America films of the last decade or so. I call them my "comfort movies." That's because I can always sit down to watch them again and again. They're smart, well-made, and exciting in the ways they tell their stories cinematically. In fact, I thought The Insider, about how CBS' 60 Minutes suppressed an interview with a former tobacco executive who had major dirt on the cigarette industry, told a frightening truth about who really runs America. Not our government or our laws, but huge, multi-national corporations, which sometimes find nefarious ways to maneuver their ways around our laws and government. Russell played "the insider," presenting himself as middle-aged, with a paunch, and a decision to risk his family life and professional future to come forward and tell the American public the truth.
Many thanks to my son. It was incredibly thoughtful and beautifully conceived and executed.