Poor Amy Adams looks a little precarious on the cover of Vanity Fair’s 2015 Hollywood issue. But hey, getting awkwardly hoisted onto Channing Tatum’s shoulder is a small price to pay to be a part of the ever-buzzy annual photo shoot.
The theme this year appears to be youngish yet established stars showing off old-school glamor, and looking back on the previous 20 covers, that seems to be a smart move. Not only have past issues featured some nearly-forgotten subject choices (Fairuza Balk! Skeet Ulrich! Does the name Alison Elliott even ring a bell?) but also some dated fashion. Oh, the sweet trends on display in the 1999 issue with Julia Stiles’ grunge-inspired center part, Kate Hudson’s belly shirt and Reese Witherspoon’s little hair clip. If only Barry Pepper (remember him?) had been sporting frosted tips. . .
Speaking of Witherspoon, she makes an appearance again this year on the cover, which was shot by Annie Leibovitz. Also: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sienna Miller, Oscar Isaac and Miles Teller.
Considering the stars must have been picked well before Academy Award nominations came out, it’s still a solid lineup. Since Isaac’s “A Most Violent Year” got shut out of the Oscars (he also got shafted last year with no nom for “Inside Llewyn Davis”) it’s nice to see him getting a shout-out. He’s an outstanding actor, and one we’ll see a lot of this year in the new “Star Wars” among other things. Miller is an interesting choice: Though not part of the awards chatter this year, she still had small but memorable supporting roles in two Oscar contenders, “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher” — proving that she’s more than just tabloid fodder after all.
(By the way, can we talk about Sienna Miller here? Look, we all know that everyone gets Photoshopped on these covers, but whoever was in charge of Miller seems to have put her head back on her neck all wrong, withered her forearm to the point of emaciation, and given her all the cleavage they took away from Adams.)
If there are any conspicuous absences, it might be Chris Pratt, whose rise in 2014 with “Guardians of the Galaxy” will continue with his starring turn in “Jurassic World.” Of course, this is Vanity Fair, where broad appeal is less important than a certain artsy cache. In which case, where is Mark Ruffalo, nominated for “Foxcatcher”? (Then again, he may have opted out. He doesn’t appear to have ever been on a Vanity Fair Hollywood cover.)
And since looking at one Vanity Fair cover inevitably leads to looking at all the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue covers, here are some random thoughts on past years.
1995: It’s ladies only — but why is everyone wearing lingerie except for Gwyneth Paltrow, red carpet-ready in a ballgown? Also, good call on Patricia Arquette. Very prescient, Vanity Fair. That one finally paid off!
1997: Jennifer Lopez made the cut. If you recall, she used to make movies like “Selena” and “Out of Sight.” Of course, she also made “Anaconda” that year.
1999: Like a ‘90s time capsule right down to Monica Potter’s chunky turtleneck sweater. Plus Sarah Polley the year she starred in “Go.”
2000: It’s all young up-and-comers wearing minimal clothing, and everyone looks entirely serious — angsty even — except Paul Walker who’s sporting no shirt and a big grin. Aw.
2002: Selma Blair, again, really? Huh.
2003: A few legends thrown in, including Harrison Ford and Jack Nicholson, wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigar, naturally. Tom Cruise appears to be smoking, too, but in a different way. As in, steam emanating from his arm. Curious.
2005: Olivia Pope has infiltrated the photo shoot, no doubt on some covert mission.
2006: The year Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson got naked and posed with Tom Ford, who was fully dressed. Equality.
2013: The cover features Ben Affleck, Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper in bed with Cooper in a gorilla suit. And they say “50 Shades of Grey” is kinky…