Jersey Boys

Jersey boys

 

DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: Marshall Brickman • PRO: Clint Eastwood, Graham King, Robert Lorenz • ED: Joel Cox, Gary D. Roach • DOP: Tom Stern • CAST: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lamenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken

Why is Clint Eastwood directing a musical?? As someone who is very familiar with Eastwood’s filmography as both an actor and a director, this question immediately came to mind when I heard he was directing an adaptation of hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys. Dirty Harry doing show tunes just somehow seems wrong, but after scratching the surface a little bit, it starts to make a lot more sense. Eastwood it turns out has always been infatuated with music, from studying it after leaving High School to composing the scores to some of his most famous films such as Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. He also directed the Biopic of Jazz Musician Charlie Parker in the 1988 film Bird, so it’s safe to say a musical novice he is not. Unfortunately for me this newly found information only serves to augment my disappointment at this messy adaptation.

Jersey Boys chronicles the rise and fall of popular ’60s pop band The Four Seasons and their lead singer Frankie Valli. The film is shown to us in a linear chronology from the band’s original incarnation as The Four Lovers, to their development into The Four Seasons and the huge success they enjoyed throughout the ’60s, and the subsequent fallout between the members of the band.

The film is scored wonderfully by the band’s biggest hits as we are treated to almost all of their hits, including “Oh What a Night” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off You”; believe me you’ll know most of them, and you’ll find yourself You Tubing the songs incessantly for days  after viewing the film.

Despite the strong musical numbers the film as a whole never really works. Its major downfall is that it bites off more than it can chew. It tries to cover too much ground from 1951 to 1990 leading it to fall flat in the middle and closing stages after a bright and vibrant start. The film jumps so quickly and loosely between situations and time periods that it leaves the audience member slightly confused. Numerous characters end up being very underdeveloped, the most striking of which is Frankie’s wife whose development from the love of his life to an embittered alcoholic goes wholly unexplained. The four members of the band act as narrators at different stages of the film, addressing the audience directly in an attempt to contextualise what we’re seeing on screen, but it fails to make the film in any way cohesive.

The cast is comprised mainly of unknown actors. John Lloyd Young is solid in the main role of Frankie Valli after his Tony award-winning turn in the Broadway version, with the role allowing him to show off an incredible vocal range. Other notable performances include Vincent Piazza as the troublesome band member Tommy De Vito who can never seem to break free from his roots in petty crime and the always delightful Christopher Walken as Gyp De Carlo, an emotional Mafia Boss who serves as the band’s Guardian Angel.

The film does have its moments, particularly one or two great ones involving a well-known Italian American actor who was genuinely involved with the band before he broke into acting, I won’t spoil what is a very amusing surprise. Despite this, it has to be said, the film falls in line with a disappointing run of recent films from Eastwood including J Edgar and Hereafter. Let’s hope a return to form is on the near Horizon for the great man.

Michael Rice

 

15A (See IFCO for details)
134 mins

Jersey Boys is released on 20th June 2014

Jersey Boys – Official Website

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Competition: Win Tickets to ‘Jersey Boys & Launch Party

Still from Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys

This summer, the Light House Cinema have drawn together some of the world’s most  popular musical films in one glorious season beginning with an exclusive preview of Warner Bros. Picture’s Jersey Boys this Friday, 13th June and closing with West Side Story Sunday 17th August.

A special preview screening of Clint Eastwood’s new musical Jersey Boys a week in advance of its release takes place on Friday, 13th June from 9.30pm and the Light House want to you come dressed as your favourite character from any of the classic or cult musicals featured in this season; be it Blues Brother, Frank N Furter, Oliver or Hedwig.

To win yourself a pair of tickets for the event, answer the following question:

What was the name of the acclaimed Charlie Parker biopic Eastwood directed in 1998?

Email your answer to filmireland@gmail.com before lunchtime on Friday, 13th June to be in with a chance of winning yourself a pair of tickets.  Please include a telephone number.

The winner will be selected by the all-singing, all-dancing Film Ireland Hat.

The winner will be contacted Friday afternoon.

 

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Cinema Review: Trouble with the Curve

DIR: Robert Lorenz • WRI: Randy Brown  PRO: Clint Eastwood, Robert
Lorenz, Michele Weiser • DOP:  Tom Stern • ED: Joel Cox, Gary Roach • DES:
James J Murakami  • Cast: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake,
John Goodman

When Clint Eastwood stepped out in front of the camera for 2008’s
excellent Gran Torino (which he, of course, also directed), it was
assumed that it was to be his acting farewell, and given how memorable
a character Walt Kowalski was, it is easy to see why.

Indeed, the man himself had intended to stay behind the camera (he has
directed Invictus, Hereafter and J. Edgar in the meantime), but the
postponement of his planned A Star Is Born remake with Beyonce Knowles
has freed him to star in his long-term collaborator Robert Lorenz’s
debut feature Trouble with the Curve.

In many ways, Clint’s involvement with this film sees him coming full
circle, because whereas it has now become the norm to expect him to
direct rather than act, Trouble with the Curve finds him acting in a
film that he didn’t also helm for the first time since Wolfgang
Petersen’s In the Line of Fire back in 1993.

The four-time Academy Award winner stars as Gus, a veteran baseball
scout who is under pressure to deliver the goods on his latest
scouting mission, as he silmutaneously attempts to hide his
deteriorating eye sight from his employers. Concerns about his
condition leads to his boss, and best friend, Pete Klein (John
Goodman) sending Gus’ high-flying lawyer daughter (Amy Adams) along
with him on his latest trip.

It is here that we get a real sense of the estrangement between the
two, and as they struggle to get along, Justin Timberlake crops up as
a former hot-shot college player turned Boston Red Sox scout, who
re-connects with his one-time recruiter Gus, as well as becoming a
potential love interest for Adams’ Mickey.

To compare Eastwood’s performance here to what we saw four years ago
in Gran Torino is perhaps unfair, as it would be asking a lot to
expect him to deliver the goods to the same extent this time around.
It doesn’t shy away from dealing with serious and sensitive subject
matters, though, as Gus’ inability to catch the action as it happens
become a central point in the drama.

Lorenz, who has worked on a total of 16 Eastwood films in a variety of
roles, approaches the job of directing in the same kind of unfussy and
leisurely manner that has become a trademark of his mentor in the past
few decades. There are also some nice touches to Randy Brown’s script,
but it does suffer from having a somewhat predictable and unremarkable
story.

However, if you are an Eastwood fan (and despite his bizarre episode
with an empty chair a few months ago at a Republican Party Convention,
a large number of people are), it is hard not to find some sort of
charm in the way the film is played out, especially when Eastwood’s
grizzled presence is balanced out with Adams’ endless charm.

The Unforgiven star’s iconic status has been there for all to see
since the Dollars Trilogy back in the 1960s, but equally Adams is one
of the finest young actresses working in Hollywood today, and can
currently be seen in scene-stealing form in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The
Master.

Timberlake shows once again that he is a very solid screen actor, and
it is refreshing to see that his character is the one with the
supporting romantic angle, as that is a burden that is so often left
at the door of an actress. Goodman is fresh from an excellent role of
his own in Ben Affleck’s Argo, and you are left to wonder why himself
and Eastwood haven’t worked together before now, as they have a very
easy chemistry with each other.

With small but pivotal characters also played by Matthew Lillard, Bob
Gunton and Robert Patrick, Trouble with the Curve never stretches
itself too far, and if it is a long way from the classic Clint of the
past, it is still something of a pleasure to see the great man on the
big screen once again.

Daire Walsh

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)

111 mins
Trouble with the Curve  is released on 30th November 2012

Trouble with the Curve – Official Website

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Cinema Review: J. Edgar

DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: Dustin Lance Black • PRO: Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Robert Lorenz • DOP: Tom Stern • ED: Joel Cox, Gary Roach • DES: James J. Murakami • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Josh Hamilton

In historical films, relevancy in the modern age is a way of making it connect with the audience. A film has to tie itself today or else be a story that is timeless. It would have to feature elements that are identifiable by everyone. With J. Edgar, the film feels something closer to opportunistic. In other words, nobody had a made a biopic about J. Edgar Hoover and it was a chance to do it. The film doesn’t feel any relevant in shape or form, leaving the viewer watching a history documentary.

J. Edgar follows the birth of the FBI and its role in several high-profile cases, ranging from the Palmer Raids, the Lindbergh Baby, the Public Enemy era to the bugging of Martin Luther King. The film is a rundown of Hoover’s involvement in these cases, how he built the FBI and spearheaded criminal science. Parallel to this, it follows his personal life, from his overbearing mother (Judi Dench) to his chaste & life-long relationship with ClydeTolson (Armie Hammer). The film doesn’t reveal anything that hasn’t been discovered in the past, there is no new information or new speculation on Hoover’s life and work. As well, the film doesn’t seem to come down on one particular side regarding Hoover. At one moment, it seems to lionise and venerate his uncompromising quest to make the FBI the greatest investigative force in America – the next, it’s admonishing his brutal tactics and dubious claims about his prowess as a lawman. This, of course, is because his life was such that there were good and bad points – and that’s all fine. J. Edgar simply feels like a history lesson. It doesn’t speculate on anything in particular, simply relaying facts one after the other with Eastwood’s deft precision.

Leonard DiCaprio excels in his role as J. Edgar Hoover. It’s always so heartening to see how he disappears into the role, physically reshaping himself to portray how stunted and repressed Hoover was, his machine-gun style of speaking and his bullet-speed walk. Even down to how he wore his watch or put on his glasses, he demonstrates a real willingness to give himself completely to the role. As well, the makeup to portray Hoover is in his later life is subtle enough so that he doesn’t disappear underneath it all. The same can’t be said forArmie Hammer. While he portrays the overtly homosexual Clyde Tolson well and does justice in portraying how a man could tie himself to another without the hope of consummation, the makeup that’s used to show his age in later years is so terrible as to be distracting. It’s strange because with DiCaprio and with Naomi Watts, who plays Hoover’s secretary Helen Gandy, the makeup is rather subtle and doesn’t necessarily detract from their performance. But with Armie Hammer’s, the results are so distracting, he’s basically a non-entity in the later parts of the film.

Clint Eastwood, who is 81 this year, delivers the quality that you’d expect from someone of his stature and career. His inclination towards dimly-lit, noirish landscapes works for him as the film is primarily set in that age, likewise his skills as a jazz pianist work for him in scoring the film. The problems lie in pacing. There’s nothing wrong with directors slowing down a film in order to develop characters or give focus to a particular scene. With J. Edgar, the pace is so slow that it’s tedious. And naturally, when that happens, you start to focus on other areas that the film falters and then, naturally, the thing unravels. Dustin Lance Black‘s script is reserved, taking great pains to strike a balance between his achievements and his failings and in doing so, becomes grey and lukewarm. The film has the benefit of hindsight – while it wishes to show a complete and full account of the facts, the fact it’s bereft of an opinion on him means that it comes across as somewhat insincere. The film and story itself feels like it should have been done already. J.Edgar Hoover has been portrayed in several great films, such as Nixon and Public Enemies. With this in mind, it feels the story has been covered already.

Therefore, one would think that if a film is going to be made on the topic, it should either shed new light or portray it from another perspective. With J. Edgar, the whole film feels like a historical document, not a film with a story to tell. As mentioned earlier, the film feels opportunistic; like there was a gap and that this could be made. It doesn’t feel necessary, like the film should have been done already. The film is impressive in some aspects, but they aren’t to keep the film from being relatively mediocre.

Brian Lloyd

Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
J. Edgar is released on 20th January 2012

J. Edgar – Official Website

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John Ford Ireland Project Announced & Clint Eastwood accepts the Inaugural John Ford Award

Áine Moriarty IFTA Chief Executive, Michael Collins Irish Ambassador to the US, Clint Eastwood and Dan Ford

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA), in association with the John Ford Estate and the Irish Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is delighted to announce the establishment of ‘JOHN FORD IRELAND’ – the annual Symposium celebrating the work and legacy of John Ford. American filmmaker CLINT EASTWOOD (J. Edgar, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby) has received the inaugural JOHN FORD AWARD.

The Irish Film & Television Academy will through JOHN FORD IRELAND, lay the foundations for honouring, examining and learning from the work and legacy of legendary filmmaker John Ford, who is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of his generation. An annual gathering in Dublin will celebrate Ford’s ongoing influence on contemporary Cinema. The Academy is working closely with leading Ford authorities, enthusiasts, experts and Academics throughout the world to bring the legacy of Ford back home to Ireland (see details on the Symposium below).

Ford, an Irish-American whose parents were raised in the West coast of Ireland – was a Pioneer of Cinema and created some of the most enduring films in cinematic history, combining exceptional creativity and innovative storytelling genius in a body of work (136 films) which spanned almost 60 years.

Ford’s films are recognized amongst the best films ever made such as The Grapes of Wrath, How Green was my Valley, Stagecoach and The Searchers (the greatest American Western of all time says the American Film Institute). Ireland and Irish themes featured heavily in numerous FORD films and he took great pride in employing Irish talent including Ireland’s Abbey players (Sara Allgood, Barry Fitzgerald etc) who went to Hollywood to work with Ford.

THE JOHN FORD AWARD:

Each year the JOHN FORD IRELAND committee, which consists of leading international experts on John Ford, will select one contemporary filmmaker to be presented with the JOHN FORD Award; a filmmaker who has similar incredible skill and vision as FORD. A Filmmaker who has learned from the mastery of JOHN FORD and who best represents Ford’s legacy and ideals to the world – an individuality, a uniqueness of vision, an artistic talent that is admired and enjoyed by audiences throughout the world.

Clint Eastwood receives the inaugural JOHN FORD AWARD

ÁINE MORIARTY, Chief Executive of the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) and MICHAEL COLLINS, Irish Ambassador to the US, unveiled the plans for the JOHN FORD IRELAND project and presented the inaugural JOHN FORD AWARD to Clint Eastwood at a reception held in Burbank, California which was attended by members of the Ford family including DAN FORD, author and grandson of John Ford.

Presenting the Award to Mr. Eastwood, Ambassador Michael Collins said:

‘I am honoured to meet with Clint Eastwood and to present him with the inaugural John Ford Award. John Ford was one of the world’s greatest filmmakers and a man who also took great pride in his Irish heritage. The selection of Clint Eastwood as the recipient of this inaugural John Ford Award draws a direct line between two of Hollywood’s greatest and most inspirational and creative figures. I salute the Irish Film and Television Academy for this initiative and wish them well with their plans to host the first John Ford Ireland annual Symposium in Ireland next year.’

IFTA Chief Executive Áine Moriarty said:

‘Clint Eastwood is one of the world’s greatest living filmmakers, a unique visionary who is leaving his legacy to the world, just as John Ford has done in his lifetime. His films have great integrity and connect with people from ‘all walks of life’ around the world. Themes of migration, identity, redemption and faith in the human spirit – these are his themes, as they were Ford’s. The Irish Film and Television Academy along with the John Ford Estate is proud to present the very first John Ford Award to Mr. Clint Eastwood.’

Receiving the JOHN FORD Award, Clint Eastwood said:

‘Thank You. This is a great privilege for me because any kind of association with John Ford is most Directors’ dream as he was certainly a pioneer of American filmmaking and I grew up on his films. His Westerns had a great influence on me, as I think they had on everybody. When I worked with Sergio Leone years ago in Italy, his favourite Director was John Ford and he spoke very openly about that influence. I want to thank everybody who is here from the Irish Academy, the John Ford family and thank you to John Ford Ireland.’

Speaking at the presentation, Dan Ford, grandson of John Ford commented:

‘I would like to thank the Irish Film & Television Academy on behalf of my grandfather and the entire Ford family for this initiative. I know he would be extremely proud of the Academy and where the Irish film industry is today, for many years he was an active participant in trying to establish an Irish film industry. If he was alive today he would not only be happy to receive this Award but be very pleased with the amount of film activity that currently goes on in Ireland.’

JOHN FORD IRELAND – Symposium (Dublin, JUNE 2012)

Plans are now underway for the first JOHN FORD IRELAND SYMPOSIUM, an event which aims to honor, examine and learn from Ford’s great work; his many approaches, themes and influences and his ongoing influence on Cinema today. Scheduled to take place in Dublin in June 2012, attracting both public and industry participation from around the world, the Symposium’s diverse programme of events will include a series of screenings, exhibitions, discussions, masterclasses, lectures and public interviews designed to educate, inform and inspire participants by providing insight into the experiences of specially invited guests speakers/experts – a MUST for movie enthusiasts around the world, especially fans of John Ford.

In addition, in the Symposium’s second year, a Film School and Scholarship programme will be established for new filmmaking talent to visit Ireland and attend the JOHN FORD FILM SCHOOL. The annual international participation will enhance Ireland’s local industry’s links with world filmmakers. A Ford exhibition of photographs, documents & memorabilia will also be showcased to the public at a free FORD exhibition.

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Invictus

Invictus

DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: Anthony Peckham • PRO: Clint Easywood, Robert Lorenz, Lori McCreary, Mace Neufeld • DOP: Tom Stern • ED: Joel Cox, Gary Roach • DES: James J. Murakami • CAST: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge

Clint Eastwood began his directorial career back in 1971 with Play Misty For Me. To date he has directed nearly thirty films and has won four Oscar®. Invictus (Latin for ‘unconquered’) takes its title from a short poem by William Ernest Henley, concerning hope and ambition. It is based on John Carlin’s book called Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and The Game That Changed a Nation.

Nelson Mandela was released from a Robben Island prison in 1990, after being inside for twenty-seven years. In 1994, Mandela was elected as President of South Africa. Mandela is played by Morgan Freeman, who Mandela himself has said is the only actor who can play him. Invictus is the story of Mandela’s period of office before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Mandela wants to tackle problems such as crime and unemployment. He believes that the rugby team needs to make their country proud and succeed in the world cup. The South African rugby team known as the Springboks, is captained by Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon, who gives a decent South African accent).

There are good supporting performances from Mandela’s staff, to name a few: chief of staff Brenda (Adjoa Andoh, making her Hollywood debut) – she is the closest individual to Mandela throughout the film; and security guards Jason (Tony Kgoroge) and Etienne (Julian Lewis Jones), who have different opinions on how the president should be addressed and guarded.

Eastwood superbly crafts the rugby sequences; they are very detailed and enthralling. In probably the most important scene, Pienaar has a conversation with Mandela, which is the key to motivating Pienaar and his team to triumph. In another scene, Pienaar visits the cell in Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned for eighteen of his twenty-seven years of imprisonment. It’s a great scene and not overdone, it’s poignant and nuanced.

There has been criticism of historical inaccuracies in the film. After all, it’s a Hollywood film, which tells a true story on its own terms and does it well. Invictus will be a shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards®, especially as the new system nominates ten films, instead of five. It’s a good film, which audiences will enjoy.

Peter Larkin

(See biog here)

Rated PG (see IFCO website for details)
Invictus is released 5th Feb 2010

Invictus – Official Website

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Gran Torino

DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: Nick Schenk • PRO: Clint Eastwood, Bill Gerber, Robert Lorenz • DOP: Tom Stern • ED: Joel Cox, Gary Roach • DES: James J. Murakami • CAST: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Bee Vang, Ahney Her

Gran TorinoPlace a narrow-eyed cowboy in the middle of Boys in the Hood and you have the setting for Gran Torino.

Written by Nick Schenk, Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort is a wry look at gang violence, racism and the long-lasting effects of war. It is also something of a history lesson on the Hmong people, an Asian ethnic group who sought refuge in America following the Korean War.

Clint Eastwood is, of course, the cowboy and he growls his way throughout the entire film as Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski. Walt views the world mostly from the seat of his old Ford pickup truck or from the porch of his well kept home which flies the American flag determinedly before it. And if he is the gun-toting, tobacco-chewing cowboy, then his 1972 Gran Torino is his trusty steed and the Asian, Latino and African-American gangs that roam the neighbourhood are the wild outlaws.

As the last ‘real’ American resolvedly living in the old neighbourhood, Walt does not discriminate who he discriminates against. Be it his Hmong neighbours, tough black teenagers, wimpy white boys, Irish construction workers, an Italian barber or his own children – all fall victim to his insults. Kowalski’s life faces upheaval when his ’72 Gran Torino attracts interest from a Hmong gang. They challenge Thao, Kowalski’s teenage neighbour played by Bee Vang, to steal the car which remains in mint condition since the day he himself rolled it off the Ford assembly line.

Upliftingly enough, Walter finds his prejudices are challenged when he intercepts Thao’s attempt at theft and unwittingly saves him from the gang. Thao’s family, including his grandmother, an even more crotchety, female version of Walter, show their gratitude by showering gifts on the old man, which he grudgingly accepts. The teenager begins to look on the septuagenarian as a role model, while his sister Sue (Ahney Her) infiltrates Walter’s prickly demeanour to find that despite a penchant for describing his neighbours as ‘swamp rats’ and ‘gooks’, Walter is a lovable, if slightly manic, character.

Beginning and ending with a funeral, questions surrounding life and death pervade the movie. The last wish of Walter’s late wife was that he would go to confession and a young red-haired priest is entrusted with ensuring that he does.

In what is rumoured to be his final outing in front of the cameras, Eastwood is more than comfortable in the role while the supporting cast are instantly memorable. A different look at gang violence and the lasting effect of murder, Gran Torino upholds Eastwood’s cast-iron reputation as an actor, director and the ultimate gunslinger.

grantorino5

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Changeling

Changeling
Changeling

DIR: Clint Eastwood • WRI: J. Michael Straczynski • PRO: Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Robert Lorenz • DOP: Tom Stern • ED: Joel Cox, Gary Roach • DES: James J. Murakami • CAST: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore

Angelina Jolie stars in Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial masterpiece, Changeling, as Christine Collins, a single mother in 1920s Los Angeles whose son goes missing. A corrupt, misogynistic police department answers her hopeful prayers by returning to her a boy they claim to be her son. Fishing for much needed praise from hovering press agents, the police captain is momentarily able to silence Christine’s protest that this boy is, in fact, not her missing son. Based on a true story, Christine’s struggle to find her missing boy lands her smack in the middle of a battle between her drive to be reunited with her family and the police departments’ nefarious efforts to silence her before the embarrassing truth of their mistake can come to light. Jolie’s brilliantly emotive performance turns this drama-cum-thriller into an Oscar®-worthy contribution to ‘stranger than fiction’ historical cinema.

Harkening back to Hollywood’s golden age of epic melodramas, untouchable starlets and the American auteur, Eastwood creates a visual atmosphere that is both fresh and antique. Even as the film opens, the old black and white Universal Studios symbol from the 1930s greets the viewer, followed by an intriguing slow pan over neighbourhood streets. Slow moving model-T’s and the cable cars of LA line the tree shrouded roadway as soft colour begins to filter in giving the mood of the film a soft Technicolor glow. Together with the sweetness of old, Eastwood remains a recognizably styled filmmaker, marking his work with a rawness too contemporary to be mistaken for classic Hollywood.

Eastwood is known for his ‘actor first’ directorial perspective, directing films as he would want to be directed if he were the actor. Often, scenes are unrehearsed and wrapped in one take. The result of this method is a dynamic realness and humanity perhaps lost on over perfected productions.

In the Changeling, Jolie bares her very soul in the unguarded and honest way typical of her performance style but also of Eastwood’s methods. Jolie, who would already be considered American royalty, much like Hollywood starlets of yesteryear, is postured through out the film in facial close-ups, much like her royal predecessors. Lit like a visual song that only cinema can seem to capture, Jolie’s face tells the story of Christine Collins’ strength, suffering and hope. While in the golden age of cinema, a starlet needed to be fresh and youthful, Eastwood is more interested in gritty reality rather than glossy, imposed beautification. Jolie appears haggard, tired and imperfect as she suffers, though this is not exaggerated either.

From Unforgiven to Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood has found compelling stories of feminine inequality more than just a brave subtext. Eastwood’s women are allegories for rebellion against the expected roles that women have played or been forced to play in an unequal and unjust past. Changeling is a tribute to an obscure and forgotten heroine who brought down a corrupt infrastructure by refusing to accept the label of a foolish, emotional woman. Much like Eastwood’s directorial style, the truth of Christine Collins is much more pertinent than anything that could have been imagined.

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