Hollywood rewards Tom Cruise. Finally

Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s top stars for the past 40 years, breaking box office records and delivering films that have collected fans across generations. He is also one of the main producers for the last 26 years, being the one who, during the pandemic, called for himself a worldwide campaign to encourage people not to stop watching films in projection rooms. For that, not only did he attend the cinemas personally (recording everything, of course) but he also held the release of the film Top Gun- Maverick, one of the most anticipated in 2020, for no less than two years. That’s right, he only released the film (in style, as always) when people were able to return to theaters. It broke records and remains the most-viewed film on streaming as well. So when Steven Spielberg hugs him and declares “you saved the Film Industry”, it’s not to dismiss the compliment.

Tom Cruise didn’t want to make Top Gun, so he would have stopped at the original 1986 film. He was convinced otherwise by the director, Joseph Kosinski, and created another classic that is among the favorites to take an Oscar for Best Picture this year. If it were under other circumstances, it would be an exaggeration, but with all the perspective of “how” it rescued the public in movie theaters, it would be deserved. And it would be Tom Cruise‘s first Oscar, a recognition he openly sought for many decades (and seems to have given up on 20 years ago). Prior to that, he will receive the David O. Selznick Achievement Award this Saturday, an award created in 1990 by the Producers Guild that honors “a producer or production team for outstanding work in film.”

David O Selznick, for those who did not associate, was one of the greatest producers in the history of Hollywood, releasing classics like Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Rebecca and so many others. Other winners in previous years include Brad Pitt (already?!), Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kramer, Billy Wilder, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Robert Evans, Dino Di Laurentis, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall and Kevin Feige (Marvel), to name a few. Tom is in very good company, even if the list has few recognized women, (a topic for another post), but there are those who still feel uncomfortable with him.

Why? Because of his religious choice. Tom Cruise’s dedication to Scientology should remain personal, but the line between personal and public has long since disappeared. When he split from Nicole Kidman in the early 2000s, fell in love with Katie Holmes around 2005, and jumped on Oprah Winffrey‘s couch to celebrate their love, Tom contributed to exposing a side that generates much controversy and suspicion even in a land where few have the right to speak of the other.

Having been nominated for an Oscar as an Actor three times (he deserved to have won for Magnolia), if not for a film in 2023, he will probably be remembered later on for his body of work, which is unique in an extremely competitive industry. In fact, I think it would be even more deserved. Let’s see the result of the same party on Saturday.

As a distant fan, and remembering Tar’s dilemma (where do we separate the Art from the Artist?), I am entitled to be happy for Tom Cruise to receive recognition for his career. In 26 years as a producer, he has generated over $11 billion (at the box office alone). Top Gun – Maverick is his highest-grossing film of all time and is the biggest global success in the 110-year history of the Paramount Pictures studio. Who else can achieve this feat?


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