For 35 years, the critic David Thomson has delighted (and irked) cinemaniacs with his contentious opinions on Hollywood's starlets, legends, and auteurs. It seems Cary Grant is the only sacred cow spared in The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (Knopf, $40). Here are a few bons mots from Thomson's freshly updated, wholly addictive, expanded fifth edition. T.H.
On Michael Bay:
"He makes noisy garbage; it is his calling, his being and soul. There is no cure."
On Matthew Broderick:
"Can his looks ever really give the impression of being lived in? Or must he be elderly and baby-faced at the same time?"
On Scarlett Johansson: "Serious doubts have begun to shadow her serene sensual blooming."
On Nick Nolte:
"The life of Nick Nolte is a good deal more interesting than many of his roles."