Harriet--I agree with your analysis, especially your comment on building block.
Eastwood's appearance seems to be nothing more than an extended cameo (and
anothher opportunity for him to play against his earlier, more stereotypicla
roles; Laura Dern's character really added nothing to the film. Yes, this may
be another "smmall film." Another in the genre is THE STONE ChILD, about 13 or
14 years old, with Robert Duvall, also set in the southwest (I'm pretty certain
that's the title, but could be wrong).
>From: IN%"[log in to unmask]" "Film and TV Studies Discussion List"
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>Subject: Oscars; a curious film
>>Hopkins may get a run for his money from Kevin Costner, strangely enough.
>>Mark Bunster |Exchange conversation if you dare--
>For A PERFECT WORLD? Now there was a curious film. It seems to be made
>up of performance building blocks, and the pieces don't seem all to fit,
>perhaps as though some of them belong in other films. (We've seen this
>Eastwood performance before; Laura Dern seems to be playing herself playing
>her mother; Kostner looks a bit like Bogart in some of his rougher roles.)
>(Maybe the Oscar should go to the kid.)
>Is anyone up on how Eastwood comes up with his scripts? The script for
>FORGIVEN has to be one of the most confused bits of moral analysis on
>screen in years.
>If it weren't for Eastwood, well, the stars, all three of them, this film
>would fit into what I think of as "the small American film" genre. I think
>TENDER MERCIES may be an example of what I mean. I have trouble
>remembering titles, though, for the films that strike me as belonging in
>this category are very much films of and from the States, they tend to
>focus on family interactions, or interaction with the environment (so their
>setting is usually largely rural), they are immensely satisfying, and yet
>they are "quiet," and hence somewhat forgettable. Not bad, just not
>strikingly memorable. MURPHY'S ROMANCE and IN COUNTRY might perhaps be
>other examples, although all the possible examples I'm coming up with have
>recognizable stars and might also belong in other, more recognizable
>I think I can understand the appeal to Eastwood of making a film like A
>PERFECT WORLD, and I would speculate that if someone of lesser stature in
>Hollywood had made it that it would have had to have been more spectacular.
>Yet it still seems somehow a curious film.
>Dr Harriet Margolis
>Department of Theatre & Film
>Victoria University of Wellington
>P.O.Box 600 Wellington, New Zealand.
>Telephone 64-4 4715359, Facsimile 64-4 4955090
141 Wendt Library/UW-Madison
(608) 262-5913/Fax (608) 262-4739
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