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Posts Tagged ‘Clint Eastwood’

This has become my favourite film this year .

I will admit it is not half as original as Inception.

Get Low is based on the true story of Felix Bush, a Tennessee hermit who held a funeral party while he was still alive after spending 40 years in a cabin in the woods because of a secret in his past. You can probably guess how the story is going to end but the pleasure lies in how the film gets you there.

It has as much heart as Toy Story 3 but was more moving because of the performances, especially Robert Duvall, in the lead. The film begins with a string of scenes where Duvall doesn’t speak but at its climax he gives a speech in which the gruff, acerbic Felix Bush made me cry my eyes out.

My money is on Duvall to win the Oscar. He still manages to put in the work despite reaching 80 next year. I don’t know what Hollywood puts in its water but Clint Eastwood is also still going strong at 80 – as was made clear when I saw a load of his work during the a festival in his honour at the Lincoln Center – and is still experimenting as both an actor and a director.

Get Low is from a first-time feature director, Aaron Schneider, which really surprised me as it is so well-crafted. As well as wonderful performances from all the cast, the film is beautifully shot – I can still remember how the light falls in some scenes – and the music perfectly matches its subject.

This movie won’t be for everyone – it’s not fast moving, it doesn’t rely on special effects, it’s not in 3D , it’s not based on a comic book, it doesn’t star a teenage heart-throb. Instead it relies on telling a story well, adult characters and believable dialogue – which seem simple but are all too rare in today’s Hollywood. If more films were like this I would go to the cinema far more often.

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I bow down before David Denby and his wonderfully written profile of  Clint Eastwood in The New Yorker ahead of the TV actor-movie star-director-mayor of Carmel-four-time-Oscar-winner’s 80th birthday in May.

My favourite phrase is that Eastwood was born “Bunyonesque big” which I admit I am saving to use one day.

There is also a fantastic description of Eastwood which captures the physical essence of the great man:

“He had gray-green eyes; a forehead like the rock face of Yosemite’s Half Dome; a perfect jawline. A fitness nut, he was broad-shouldered by nature and muscular from the hours spent in his workout room, but not overly muscled—not a media joke like Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger. A mass of light-brown hair piled up on his head in a pompadour and flowed back in waves; he had an animal grace, a big-cat tension as he moved.”

And finally, how Eastwood re-invented the Western:

“If Leone emptied the West in his early movies, making Westerns that were mainly syntax and dead bodies, Eastwood, working in long paragraphs, put meaning back into the genre.”

Eastwood broke out as a movie star at the age of 41 after playing the iconic Dirty Harry. Since then his career has only got better and better as he has remained unafraid to risk failure by trying new things. I remember having an internal debate about whether I was too old to turn my life upside down and move to New York in 2006 and I was just in my 30’s.

Eastwood is still doing something he loves and working as hard as ever as he approaches 80, which should serve as an inspiration for us all. I am inspired to make time to re-watch Unforgiven this weekend.

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