Here’s what hyperbole looks like: Mary McNamara’s over-the-top encomium to Maggie Smith, in today’s Los Angeles Times.
“…a performer of such consistent, elastic and unique fabulousness that, well into her eighth decade, she’s practically become her own genre.” (Given that elsewhere in the same piece, the writer extolls Ms. Smith’s virtuosity of range, I can’t imagine what the genre would be. Except, perhaps, “classy old British actors in movies and television.” Is that a genre?)
“…the lift of an eyebrow, the tilt of her chin, and the world cracks open in her hand.”
“Smith is one of those women who has looked essentially the same since she was 20…”
Here is Maggie Smith in 1969:
Here is Maggie Smith in 2012:
Now, I too like Maggie Smith. A lot. But I don’t believe she is a genre unto herself, I doubt that she can sunder the forces holding together the globe, nor do I think she can arrest the progress of time. I just think she’s a really, really good actor.