Clint Eastwood Sounds Like High Plains Grifter At Republican Convention
Clint Eastwood has starred in and/or directed some of the smartest, most thought-provoking movies I've seen in the last 10 years. And that's making it very hard for me to get my head around his trite, addled performance at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.
I'm not bitching about Eastwood's politics. I'm pretty certain that I don't share his ideology, but I can't help but respect someone who's not afraid to be politically unpopular in largely liberal Hollywood.
I only wish Eastwood's courage and convictions translated to a more articulate speech and an appearance that didn't make him look like a GOP pawn. For one thing, what possessed him to let the RNC appropriate the silhouette of his High Plains Drifter character for Mitt Romney's coronation? The Stranger, as that character was billed in the movie's credits, ran silent but deep — a far cry from Romney who runs silent and empty.
Then there was Eastwood's assertion in his speech that there are "a lot of conservative people" and moderates in Hollywood, but that they play their cards "close to the vest."
They must because the filmmaker could only name one famous fellow conservative: Jon Voight. That Eastwood followed Voight's name with the statement: "These are all people that are like-minded," made me wonder if he needed to up his Centrum Silver dosage.
Eastwood, 82, also shot himself in the foot (with a .44 Magnum) when he derisively told the Tampa convention crowd that he wept during Obama's inauguration. "I haven’t cried that hard since I found out that there’s 23 million unemployed people in this country," said Eastwood, ploughing past the faulty construction of that sentence and adding: "That is a disgrace, a national disgrace."
Maybe he believes that, but, Eastwood, who made a career out of playing characters, such as Harry Callahan, who ferreted out the ugly truth, didn't even acknowledge that the unemployment rate may have something to do with the financial meltdown that took place in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush's watch.
Instead, he blithely trotted out a few more facile statements about how bad things are under the Obama administration before closing with his old Dirty Harry catchphrase, "Make My Day." Like many of the lines that preceded it, the remark was trite and half-baked — a far cry from such thoughtful, moving films as Hereafter, Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby that have made Eastwood such an original and powerful filmmaker.
Clint, you didn't make my day. You ruined my night.
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