Jesse Bradford Movies
With puppy dog eyes and a lopsided grin, Jesse Bradford is a young actor who seems to have studied at the Paul Rudd School of Dorky Charm; like Rudd (with whom he co-starred in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet), his earnest, intelligent good looks have made him a natural for playing both sensitive outcasts and unconventional romantic leads. An actor since he made his debut in a Q-Tip commercial at the age of eight months, Bradford first earned attention for his work in James Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1996), and made a splash in the teen heartthrob wading pool with his role as Kirsten Dunst's would-be boyfriend in Bring It On (2000).
Born in Connecticut on May 28, 1979, Bradford made his first business contacts through his mother, who was a commercial actress. After appearing in a number of commercials, he got his next big break with a role on the TV soap opera The Guiding Light, and made his screen debut playing Robert De Niro's son in Falling in Love (1984). Following with more TV work, Bradford appeared as the offspring of yet another screen icon, this time as Harrison Ford's son in Presumed Innocent (1990). More substantial work soon came the young actor's way, first in The Boy Who Cried Bitch (1991), a little-seen drama in which he played the younger brother of a teenaged sociopath; then in Steven Soderbergh's acclaimed King of the Hill (1993), in which Bradford starred as a young boy forced to fight for his own survival in Depression-era St. Louis. The latter role brought him a number of positive notices and Hollywood attention; another starring role in Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog (1995) followed, as did the sizable part of Balthasar in Baz Luhrmann's celebrated William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996).
Bradford also earned sizable acclaim for his portrayal of the adopted French son of an American couple (Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Hershey) in James Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998). Made the same year that the actor enrolled at Columbia University, the film was held in high regard by a number of critics who pointed to its ensemble acting as one of its major strengths.
Bradford's increasing recognition as an actor was reflected by his subsequent casting as a Clash-loving indie-rock boy with a weakness for his high school's head cheerleader in Bring It On, Peyton Reed
's giddy, teen, cheerleading comedy. It wasn't long before Bradford stepped into the lead, and with his role in the teen time-travel thriller Clockstoppers (2002) the promising young actor did just that. Though Clockstoppers was little more than a moderate success at the box-office, Bradford ventured into Fear (1996) territory while being stalked by Erica Christensen in the teen thriller Swimfan. His experience on the small screen fairly limited to this point in his career, Bradford had an impressive two-year run on the political drama The West Wing before making the leap back to the big screen in the independent dramas Eulogy and Heights. A supporting performance as a man with a curious secret in Don Roos' 2006 comedy drama Happy Endings preceded a trip back in time in the first installment of director Clint Eastwood's ambitious World War II saga Flags of Our Fathers (which was followed soon thereafter by the Bradford-less Letters from Iwo Jima). He appeared in Oliver Stone's biopic W., and landed a major role in the adaptation of Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi
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If you know the Clement Clark Moore poem, you'll know that Prancer is one of Santa Claus' "eight tiny reindeer." When 9-year-old Rebecca Harrell, who still believes in Santa despite the remonstrations of her parents and the taunts of her peers, stumbles across the selfsame Prancer in a remote part of the forest, no one will believe the girl. Later on, Harrell's no-nonsense father Sam Elliot comes across a wounded reindeer, he feels it his duty to put the suffering animal out of his misery. The deer, of course, is Prancer, and it magically vanishes before Elliot's startled eyes. Harrell nurses the deer back to health in secret, with the help of kindly doctor Abe Vigoda and her troublesome older brother John Joseph Duda. Harrell is determined to contact Santa and let him know where Prancer is, but her efforts only result in public humiliation for her father. But this is a Christmas film, and the spirit of goodwill is contagious by fadeout time, even transforming town-recluse Cloris Leachman into a warm-hearted social animal. Filmed in Indiana, Prancer isn't quite a classic, but it's perfect midwinter videocassette entertainment. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Sam Elliott, Rebecca Harrell, (more)
To spice up their tepid social lives three ad execs from Manhattan place ads in the personals column of a local magazine. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
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Falling in Love can be described as an urban American Brief Encounter. Reteamed for the first time since The Deer Hunter, Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep star as a married couple. Thing of it is, they're not married to each other. While Christmas shopping for their respective families, architect Frank Raftis (DeNiro) and graphic artist Molly Gilmore (Streep) "meet cute," their holiday packages becoming mixed up. What starts as a pleasant chance acquaintance blossoms into romance. Inevitably, however, both parties realize that what they're doing is wrong--a shade too late to save their marriages, as it turns out. The film ends with a bittersweet "one year later" coda. The natural charisma of its stars lends distinction to the otherwise so-so Falling in Love. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, (more)