Didn't expect to like this film as much as I did, having a dislike of films which feature any sport in a major way. Furthermore rugby, like cricket, leaves me cold and bored. (I still don't know what on earth they're trying to do in both sports, and have never had the inclination to find out.) But as it transpired, I thought 'Invictus' was a very good film. It would be churlish to complain that Morgan Freeman was only a visual approximation of the deservedly iconic Nelson Mandela, but he did get the voice uncannily close, I thought. Then there was also the beefed-up Matt Damon, someone whose looks haven't done much for me in the past, but in this film looking the best he ever has, at least in my opinion. The (very) rough-and-tumble of the rugby games was exceedingly well shot, even majestically, though that was helped by having sequences in slo-mo. Nevertheless it was certainly moving, my emotions having been kick-started by hearing the South African national anthem which, with the Russian and French, being the only such anthems that can bring tears to my eyes.
But our Clint does it again! I don't think he's ever made a duff film, certainly not as director. Even as actor he's always been a compelling presence. I remember seeing him as Rowdy Yates in the old black-and-white 'Rawhide' TV series long before he first he appeared on film in the 'man-with-no-name' trilogy. (We'll gloss over his almost wordless supporting-actor role in 'Where Eagles Dare' though at the time the film was a romping good boys-own adventure yarn. Btw. I only recently learned that it was Eastwood himself who suggested pruning his scripted dialogue in that role right back and to play his part mainly by facial expressions!) Then in the 70s came his first attempt at directing - and very accomplished it was too - for 'Play Misty For Me'. I've seen every one of his films on the big screen (with the sole exception of 'Million Dollar Baby' - Sport again!) and all of them can justifiably be described as 'significant' (rather like all Scorsese's film are too). I know that Eastwood can't be far off from retiring now, but whenever he does, for me it will still be too soon. But as for 'Invictus' - do see!
2 hours ago