In Appreciation of Clint Eastwood At 79, He's More Active and Artistically Honed Than Filmmakers Half His Age

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the past week or so since its release on DVD, more than a handful
of people have come up to me and asked why Gran
wasn’t nominated for a single Academy Award. Now
I think the film is average in many respects but also extremely
entertaining in that it has a really fun character to watch. But
still, I just nodded my head because I know what they mean. It’s
a solid, likable flick – that’s where it ends with me.

Still, Clint
Eastwood’s run has been remarkable. Great work in the face of our
own mortality is nothing new in any walk of life, but I still find
it interesting that a guy like Clint Eastwood, at 79, is more active
and artistically honed than most filmmakers half his age. Or a quarter
his age.

I remember
reading an interesting interview with Ridley Scott a few years ago,
around the time Black
Hawk Down
was released to much acclaim. He’d had a string
of critical and box-office successes, a run unlike anything he’d
ever experienced in his career and he was posed the question of
Why? His response was something along the lines of: Well,
I’m getting up in years and when I looked back at what I’d done,
I realized I hadn’t done that many movies. Since 2000’s Gladiator
Scott hasn’t gone more than two years without releasing a film.
He has done eight films in the past 10 years. Not too shabby.

Look, Clint
couldn’t end his career on Blood
, the same way Scott couldn’t let G.I.
be his legacy. Since then both have been en fuego,
although Clint doesn’t have a turkey like A
Good Year
to live down. Now Scott is seven years younger
than Clint Eastwood (who will turn 80 next year). Dirty
is going to be 80! Let that roll around the noggin
for a while. But you wouldn’t know it to look at him – and
you definitely wouldn’t think it when you look at his work over
the last 10 years. That’s nine movies in 10 years, three of which
were Best Picture nominees. And numerous members of his casts were
nominated or won Oscars during that stretch.

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26, 2009

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