What's your all-time favorite ''look''? Check out this week's Ask the Critic question, then post your own

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
January 26, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

What’s your all-time favorite ”look”?

I can’t forget Susan Sarandon’s eyes in Dead Man Walking or Gloria Swanson’s ”ready for my close-up” look in Sunset Boulevard. What’s your all-time favorite ”look”? — Daniel Vaz

It’s not surprising that your examples include a classic over 50 years old: To paraphrase Swanson as Norma Desmond, back then they didn’t need dialogue; they had faces! Back then Hollywood favored (and audiences adored) an acting style more external and more declarative than the inner-directed naturalism now the norm. Today’s younger actors would probably cringe at the idea of perfecting a ”look,” which is why my favorites are from older pros, including Jack Nicholson’s crazed grin in The Shining and Anthony Hopkins’ chilling stare in The Silence of the Lambs. Best of all, I thrill every single time I revisit Humphrey Bogart’s imperceptible nod in Casablanca, as Rick okays the playing of ”La Marseillaise” — never mind that Bogart famously didn’t know what the gesture would be used for when he was asked to provide an isolated ”nod” shot.

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