1) Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood is without a doubt one of the greatest directors of all time. I don’t think there’s anyone who would even attempt to dispute this. He provided a much needed shakeup to the Western genre with his 1992 Oscar-winner Unforgiven, and really hit his stride about a decade ago, with the successive masterful hits Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby. Then he went on to follow these movies up with the bold World War II double feature, Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. He was on a huge roll, cementing his reputation as one of, if not the, best filmmaker working at the time.
But that seems like forever ago now. I was a fan of Changeling, although that one was not as well received as his previous few knockouts. Gran Torino was the first indication that he was slipping. Then came the enormously disappointing Invictus, the slightly improved Hereafter, and then the epic failure that was J. Edgar. He has since been relegated to acting in trifling little movies like Trouble with the Curve, and giving rambling speeches at political conventions.
With no solid projects upcoming, it seems safe to say Eastwood has most likely lost his artistic touch. Maybe his heart’s not in it anymore. Had he ended on that amazing and daring double feature project, his legacy would have been one of a man going out on top. Instead, he’s going the way of many directors, working into old age but producing films that make people yearn for past days.
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