Monday, September 13, 2010

Roger Ebert's thoughts on Eastwood's Hereafter

There are not many film critics I let sway me either way on seeing a film, I am a firm believer in seeing a movie for yourself even if a certain film has been raked over the coals, you probably still owe it to yourself to see it to determine your own conclusion. But I have always revered Roger Ebert's opinion when he reviews a movie. He's simply one of, if not, the best of all time. The man knows what he is talking about. Here is a little piece he has written about Clint Eastwood's latest supernatural film Hereafter...


" Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter considers the possibility of an afterlife with tenderness, beauty and a gentle tact. I was surprised how enthralling I found it. I don’t believe in woo-woo, but there’s no woo-woo anywhere to be seen. It doesn’t even properly suppose an afterlife, but only the possibility of consciousness after apparent death. This is plausible. Many near-death survivors report the same memories, of the white light, the waiting figures and a feeling of peace.

The subject lends itself to sensationalizing and psychic baloney. Eastwood has made a film for sensitive, intelligent people who are naturally curious about what happens when the shutters close. He tells three primary stories. Their three central characters meet at the end, but please don’t leap to conclusions. This is not one of those package endings where all the threads come together in a Coincidence that makes everything clear. They meet in a perfectly explicable and possible way, they behave as we feel they might, and everything isn’t tied up neatly. Instead, possibilities are left open in this world, which is as it should be, because we must live the lives we know and not count on there being anything beyond the horizon.

I said the film was made with tact. It is made with the reserve, the reluctance to take obvious emotional shortcuts, that is a hallmark of Eastwood as a filmmaker. This is the film of a man at peace. He has nothing to prove except his care for the story. The original screenplay is by Peter Morgan (who doesn’t, Eastwood told me, believe in psychic powers). He gives us Matt Damon as a man who seems actually able to have communication with the dead, but has fled that ability and taken a low-profile job; Cecile de France as Marie, a newsreader on French television; Bryce Dallas Howard as a young cooking student with a fearful dark place inside; Richard Kind as a man mourning his wife; and Frankie McLaren as Marcus, a young boy whose twin brother has been struck by a truck and killed."

It's a postive review of the film that overall is getting mixed reviews at Toronto so far, but it's Eastwood and mixed reviews or not, I was still going to see this movie.

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Started to really pay attention to film ( movies ) what was going on in front of the camera, but more interestingly, behind it as well at about as far back as age 10. Motion pictures ( when good ) are a fascinating medium. All the work and prep that goes into filmmaking. It's an amazing process !