It’s no “Unforgiven,” the nine-time Oscar-nominated 1992 western that he wrote, directed and starred in. But it is a rather captivating epic with strong performances by the always-enchanting Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake.
Eastwood delivers yet another stunning performance, which proves once and for all, that given all his recent ticks, there’s no one quite like him in the film world today.
With his rugged visage, he almost seems more destined for Mt. Rushmore than film immortality. He knocks it out of the park in scene after scene. Eastwood essays baseball scout Gus Lobel, who has more successful notches on his belt than most. But he feels like he may be losing his touch because of his age and failing eyesight.
Adams is his neglected and estranged daughter, who is drafted to accompany him on what may well prove to be his last scouting trip. Father and daughter bond, she meets a cute guy (Timberlake) who plays a competing scout, who once had a promising baseball career that Lobel had championed, and they resolve to work together on the trip.
At first, I felt like I was watching a cute-rate “Moneyball,” Brad Pitt’s Oscar-nominated film with Jonah Hill. But with great acting from stalwarts like John Goodman, Robert Patrick and Matthew Lillard, it had great rhythm and worked like a charm.
Adams has been in some great movies, works terrifically well with Eastwood and meets him punch-for-punch. Timberlake, who at first seemed an odd addition, and at times seemed he was about to break into song, more than held his own.
I particularly liked a scene when Timberlake, confiding to Adams about his career, said “the only person who felt worse than I did was your Dad.” Real emotion for sure; the scene worked very well.
Timberlake and Adams hook up, but in a very real way. She has perfect chemistry with both actors and she makes you buy in.
Robert Lorenz, Eastwood’s long-time producing partner from his Malpaso Productions, directed the film, reflecting Eastwood’s own film farm-system. His direction was spot-on terrific. The choice that Eastwood has to make, he makes, but against his wishes.
I won’t reveal what happens but suffice to say it all works out in the end.
Eastwood became an instant parody on “Saturday Night Live’s” debut last weekend. Bill Hader played the venerable star in high-waist pants turning his RNC speech into a one-man show, Eastwood & Chair and taking it on the road.
And, his last movie “J Edgar” with Leo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer, was dreadful.
But I still wouldn’t bet against him on any future project.
The film is scheduled for release this weekend Sept. 21. Check out the trailer below and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more film updates and reviews.