Monday, July 20, 2009

Things I Am Beginning to Realize about Clint Eastwood

Last night we finished watching CHANGELING, Clint Eastwood's film set in the 1920s about a mom whose child disappears, and then the LAPD foists another child on her so they can call the case closed.

In general, we love Clint Eastwood movies. Not just movies he directs but also ones he starred in (hey! no guff from any of you about ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN. Shouldn't every moving co-starring an orangutan warrant a sequel?). Loved the spaghetti westerns, loved TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA, loved DIRTY HARRY. (Okay, just spent some time scrolling through Eastwood's acting oeuvre on Netflix--I'll grant you there are some real stinkers...) We even admired Clint when he was Mayor of Carmel, but it's as a director we enjoy him most.

From seeing MYSTIC RIVER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, UNFORGIVEN, and CHANGELING, however, we are beginning to see some patterns:

1) Eastwood doesn't do Hollywood endings. This can be a bummer since, I confess, I'm a sucker for a Hollywood ending. He doesn't even do motions in the direction of Hollywood endings. The bad guy may get his, but so, unfortunately, does the good guy. There is no neat-and-tidy. No guy and girl riding into the sunset. Zip. In the case of CHANGELING, Scott said, "Well, at least she got justice." Justice? Who cares about justice when what you really want is closure?

2) Try not to get too attached to anyone in Eastwood movies. Maybe I should read more movie reviews, but did I know, going in, what was going to happen to "Mo Cuishle" in MILLION DOLLAR BABY? Uh uh. Sheesh. Watch out for those stools. (BTW, SCARY MOVIE IV has the most hilarious parody of MDB's stool scene. We were beside ourselves.)

3)Eastwood movies are made for discussion. If you see movies with a lumpish spouse who never introspects or offers opinions, stay away from Clint's pics. Your lumpish spouse will be lumpish, and you will find that especially frustrating. On the other hand, these don't make good first-date movies either, since there's usually some crying and depression involved, but at least it would help you discern whether that date has future lumpish-spouse potential.

Those were my ah-has. Can't wait to see GRAN TORINO. Would love to know your favorite Clint movies, starring or directing.

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