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New York Awards 2003

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Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins has survived Bill O’Reilly diatribes, Lloyd Grove innuendo, and a starring role in Howard the Duck. He’s been publicly chastised for talking about AIDS at the Oscars and been threatened with boycotts for protesting Bushes I and II. Yet his critics don’t stop him. A Rangers fan who grew up in the Village, he played cinema’s most cynical studio exec in The Player, then emerged as one of the industry’s few real-life idealists. He promptly leveraged his success in The Shawshank Redemption and Bull Durham to write and direct Bob Roberts, Dead Man Walking, and Cradle Will Rock, movies that never would have been made by someone with less conviction. This year, in Mystic River, he was at his best again as the lumbering Dave Boyle, the middle-aged shadow of a bright kid who got hurt, bad. It hurt us to see that baby face—which has allowed him to get away with so much—slacken. The Oscar buzz is gathering, but don’t think for a minute he’s not still courting controversy. His next project, Embedded, is a satire of the Iraq war. —LOGAN HILL


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