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January 1994


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"Harriet E. Margolis" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 4 Jan 1994 13:06:19 +1200
text/plain (42 lines)
>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