George Clooney, The Last Great Movie Star (Review)

Kimberly Potts (Applause)

George Clooney has gone from Northern Kentucky University dropout (where he studied journalism in a failed attempt to follow in his father's footsteps) to struggling TV actor to one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. He's an Oscar-winning actor who has first crack at the few worthwhile scripts in Hollywood. He's guided a pair of films as a writer/director (the oddball, largely ineffective Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the incisive, highly effective Good Night, and Good Luck). He's a politically minded guy who has spoken out for relief in Darfur, repeatedly questioned the policies of our current administration and playfully slammed convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff during a Golden Globes acceptance speech. Oh, and he's a rich, funny and charming two-time recipient of People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" who has a plush, sprawling home in Lake Como, Italy, and a stable of loyal, longtime friends.

All of this and more is discussed in Kimberly Potts' unauthorized biography, a lightweight primer that forgoes deep, authentic analysis of Clooney's career and life in favor of regurgitating information from various interviews and reviews that have appeared in other places. Potts' biography, which is propelled by pedestrian prose and precious few incisive moments, does little but scratch the surface of Cincinnati's favorite movie son.

Example? Try this evaluation of Clooney's performance in the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou: "The movie was the best example yet of the actor's comedic abilities, and the goofy grin he forms to deliver Everett's lines is particularly memorable, since it can't be an easy thing to make a face that handsome look silly." But Potts does get one thing right: Clooney might well be "The Last Great Movie Star."