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Pierce Brosnan is much more than James Bond In Focus by Richard Crouse FOR METRO CANADA March 12, 2010

Pierce-BrosnanPierce Brosnan has never been nominated for an Oscar. He has a couple Golden Globe nods to his credit and an MTV Movie Best Fight Award statuette on his shelf, but so far the heavy gold has evaded him.

Perhaps because of his dapper good looks he doesn’t get spoken about in the same breath as Colin Firth or Morgan Freeman. Perhaps a resume dotted with films like Dante’s Peak knocks him down a peg or two in the Academy’s opinion.

Or maybe it’s his predilection for doing shamelessly populist fare like Mama Mia and this weekend’s Remember Me (co-starring as Robert Pattison’s father) that keeps him from being taken as seriously as say, George Clooney, another genetically blessed actor, who, like Brosnan, got his big break on television.

He could have been nominated for his work in The Matador, a little seen, but critically lauded film from 2005. In it, Brosnan plays Julian Noble, a jaded hit man, or “facilitator of fatalities” who finds a confidant in a struggling businessman, played by Greg Kinnear.

Brosnan’s performance as Julian, the hit man who develops confidence problems, is a revelation. We have seen Brosnan as the slickly comic private eye Remington Steele on television, the sophisticated James Bond and even as the suave jewel thief in The Thomas Crown Affair, but until now we have never seen him in Beatle boots and a Speedo traipsing across a hotel lobby.

His Julian is a manic creation — amoral, rude and unlike Bond, the character that has defined his career for the last decade, unshaven.

With this one performance Brosnan entered a new phase in his career, effortlessly leaving the urbane Bond behind.

Maybe next year he’ll finally get the recognition he deserves when the Academy gets a load of his work in The Ghost Writer. As ex-prime minister Adam Lang he embodies the role, like he was born for photo ops in front of private jets, waving to his constituents.

It’s good work that effectively erased the image of him as a half man / half horse in the recent film Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Despite the odd misstep, he is an interesting actor who deserves more respect than he gets.

If the movie gods can allow Mon’ique to go from co-starring in Beerfest to winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, surely they can ignore Brosnan’s silly beard in an ill-conceived Robinson Crusoe remake, or the non-thrilling thriller Live Wire and finally give him his due.

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