I wish the True confession. I've had Clint Eastwood in my head since we watched Escape from Alcatraz the other day. I've erased the crazy behavior he exhibited at the Republican convention, just the same way I block out Tom Cruise' bizarre Scientology connection. When I do that, I can't deny there is something deeply compelling about Clint; the way he ambles along, all 6 feet 4 inches of lean, laconic style, in no particular hurry to see if you feel lucky or wanna make his day. His face, still and reflective; this man is not afraid of the long, deep stare.
I decided he might as well make my day, so for today's Saturday Matinee, let's stream The Bridges of Madison County, released about 20 years ago, in 1995 when Clint was already 65 years old. Who says sixty isn't sexy? It's hard to believe the man is now eighty five, but I guess that accounts for the fake baby in American Sniper.
In the movie, based on the debut novel by Robert James Waller, scripted by Richard LaGravanese, Eastwood starred as Robert Kincaid, a photographer who happens into the life of Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) one summer day in 1965 when he stops to ask directions. She's married, the Italian war bride wife of a farmer who's away with the children at the state fair. Meryl has the Italian accent down, as usual, probably part of what got her a Best Actress nomination from the Academy. Clint also directed and I really don't think there is another actor/director working so successfully both in front of, and behind the cameras. Orson Welles in his day, George Clooney would like to, but I don't think you can beat Clint. Certainly not the Clint you see here, alive, sexy, powerfully seductive.
Francesca and Robert have a strong connection and fall quickly and deeply in love, but they're not spring chickens, and Francesca knows that beyond the passion, there are pragmatic considerations. She has to think about her children, her husband, their lives. You can't just run off and forget the people you love, just because you fall in love. Can you?
Stream it on Amazon and Vudu this afternoon; come back and tell me what you think.
Here's a sneak peek at the trailer to get you in the mood.