May 24, 2024

In 1971, legendary Clint Eastwood He made his directorial debut with a film called Play Misty for Me. It was the opening salvo of what has been a truly distinguished and distinguished career behind the camera. We already knew what he could do as an actor, and we still want to see him on the big screen at least one more time, but his mastery of filmmaking behind the camera firmly established Eastwood as a timeless Hollywood icon. . Since his debut over 50 years ago, he’s made dozens of movies, most of which have a thick machismo about them, featuring tough-guy-like protagonists. Mystic River, Great Turin, Josey Wales outlawand the 1992 western epic unforgiving.

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He has also made some films with military themes, in addition to masculine courage, among others Our Father’s Flags, Letters from Iwo Jimaand American sniper. But on the rare occasion he takes on a project with a female lead, Eastwood’s films take on a more substantial tone. Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby is one of the most disappointing Best Picture winners of all time. He worked together Angelina Jolie at the height of his powers in 2008 to turn grim The change. And the aforementioned debut, Play Misty for Me, is an amazing story featuring an insignificant woman as one of the protagonists. So why are all these films featuring women so much darker and more foreboding than all the other works that rely on dramatic action and tight thrills?

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Clint Eastwood started his directorial career with a story based on women

Play Misty For Me - 1971

Clint Eastwood was only 41 years old when he had his first opportunity to direct his own film starring opposite him Jessica Walter well done, but in a dark psychological thriller Play Misty for Me. Walter plays a crazy, psychopathic fan of Eastwood’s Monterey Peninsula radio disc jockey character Dave Garver. Walter is fantastic and nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress as the psychopathic stalker Evelyn Draper, and Garver as the quiet, blues-obsessed anonymous caller who repeatedly requests the song “Misty” before physically taking her over the airwaves. What Dave is looking for is perceived as a more intimate relationship than it really is.

The two have a one-night stand, which triggers a psychotic episode when he doesn’t have his love. Of course, stalking wasn’t really considered an actionable crime until many years later, so the unwanted advances and surreptitious encounters with Garver aren’t enough to get the police involved before threatening bodily harm later in the film. It is worth noting that in Eastwood’s first time behind the camera, a woman would appear inside a very evil lens. The legend would go on to direct several pieces on different subjects over the next five decades, but it all began with portraying female protagonists in a very grim tone.

‘Million Dollar Baby’ is the most disappointing Best Picture winner ever

Hilary Swank fighting in Million Dollar Baby
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. via Pictures

Eastwood won the 2004 Academy Award for his portrayal of a female boxer who quickly rises through the ranks in the film. Million Dollar BabyHe was another outsider who was encouraged Hilary Swank Tougher than advertised Maggie Fitzgerald as pugilist. It was Eastwood’s first foray into a female-driven story since 1971 and while it’s a terrific and compelling story, it’s the most disappointing Best Picture winner ever. Fitzgerald’s rags-to-riches story is inspiring and empowering, right down to the incredibly tragic and strange moment when he breaks his neck in the corner chair after being hit with a cheap shot after the bell. From there, the downward spiral of award-fighting phenom Frankie Dunn (Eastwood), now a quadriplegic and unable to breathe without the help of a ventilator, is beyond heartbreaking and can be very difficult to watch. When his family is presented as little more than a motley crew of greedy, reckless gold diggers, it almost feels like Eastwood was piling on the audience until the actor/director’s own euthanasia blow. mercifully puts him out of his misery. It’s a testament to Eastwood’s directorial work that he was able to tell such a harrowing and moving story and still capture the wonder of the Academy to the tune of its most prestigious award.

‘Change’ is huge in its story and the misogyny it reflects

Angelina Jolie exiting a building in Changeling

By 2008, Angelina Jolie was clicking on all cylinders as an A-list superstar. He conquered the action thriller genre Lara Croft: Tomb Raider In 2001 (which grossed a whopping $275 million) and two years later it was a blockbuster. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – Cradle of Life this is considered by many to be an improvement on the first film. So when he joined forces with Eastwood The change a few years later, she wanted to earn a place in the rare but clever club of heroic female protagonists led by the veteran filmmaker. And he did an admirable job, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. But it’s the crime-mystery film’s haunting story and discordant tone that stand out above all else.

Set in the years leading up to the stock market crash and Great Depression of the 1930s, Jolie plays Christine Collins, a mother of a young boy who was believed to be dead, only to return years after his disappearance. When she comes to believe that the boy is not really her son, given some physical discrepancies between the two, she encounters a skeptical audience of mostly men who don’t believe her, but dismiss her to the point of doubt. even going so far as to accuse her of being an unfit mother for mental stability. The film is an unfortunate reflection of that time, but it’s no less depressing that a woman and mother falls under such ridicule for something as basic as the identity of her children. It’s a disturbing story marked by equally disturbing and pervasive misogyny.

Why does Eastwood tell such dark female stories?

Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

In his very long and famous career, Eastwood has directed more than 60 films. The director has always been attracted by the drama and the intensity of the genre itself. So does the fact that his only female-led films are relentlessly dark make them notable in his filmography? We don’t think so. It’s likely the story and the opportunity to work with elite actors like Walter, Swank and Jolie that drew Eastwood to the project, rather than a conscious effort to use his heroes thematically. All of these are great films and the female leads were recognized by the industry for their stellar portrayals of three very different archetypes. Being tonally more morbid and inviting is just a coincidence. if Bradley Cooper the nature of Chris Kyle in the year American sniper As impressive and decorated as a female shooter, we think Eastwood would have told the same story about a war hero. Telling a fascinating story is and always has been for the Hollywood icon.

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