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Clint Eastwood

Oscars flashback: 5 reasons why Sean Penn won Best Actor for ‘Mystic River’

We had no idea what we were in for. Allow me to backtrack just a bit.
Three-time previous nominee Sean Penn had taken an early lead for his role as a troubled ex-convict and grieving father in Clint Eastwood’s crime drama “Mystic River.” Then Bill Murray began to generate major buzz for his portrayal of an aging movie star in Sofia Coppola’s acclaimed Tokyo-set comedy “Lost in Translation.”
The Golden Globes did little to clarify things. Penn prevailed in the drama category while Murray picked up the comedy/musical award. The latter did arguably get a bit of a boost with his charming acceptance speech. (Penn was a no-show, and Eastwood awkwardly attempted to thank the Globes on his actor’s behalf.)
All eyes were then on the Screen Actors Guild Award, which many thought would serve as a tie-breaker. But in the ultimate awards twist, the prize went to Johnny Depp for bringing the colorful and crafty pirate Jack Sparrow to life in the summer’s swashbuckler smash “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
Suddenly, the contest was even more exciting than most observers had anticipated. Did Depp’s surprise at SAG foretell an Oscar upset? Had his “Pirate” suddenly placed a “Curse” on Penn and Murray? (Reminder: all three had made Oscar’s Best Actor lineup, along with Ben Kingsley in “House of Sand and Fog” and Jude Law in “Cold Mountain.”)
Oddsmakers were almost evenly split between Penn and Murray going into Oscar night, and most recognized that Depp was a very real threat. But when 2002’s Best Actress for “The Hours” Nicole Kidman opened the envelope, it was Penn’s name that was penned on the card.
Fortunately, the actor made the decision to attend the ceremony (after ignoring his first three invites) — and received a thunderous standing ovation. So how did Penn do it? Here are my five reasons why.
1. He had the most serious and dramatic role.The academy has long been reluctant to reward comedic performances, especially in the lead categories. While Murray’s skillful and nuanced work in “Lost in Translation” was superb, the part didn’t quite have the same gravitas as Penn’s character, ex-convict James “Jimmy” Markum. And as delightful as Depp was in “Pirates,” his Captain Jack was perhaps sailing in waters too shallow for the tastes of those sophisticated voters. That allowed Penn to hit the Oscar jackpot.
2. He had the killer scene.It seems silly to say “spoiler alert” for a 20-year-old film, so I won’t. (But you’ve been warned.) The moment that his character realizes that his daughter has died, Penn exhibited the type of over-the-top acting that voters eat up. The agony. The intensity. The impact. I have a feeling that most academy members had that scene in mind as they marked Penn’s name on their ballots.
3. He was seen as the most due for the Academy Award.“Mystic River” gave Penn his fourth shot at Best Actor. He had previously contended for 1995’s “Dead Man Walking,” 1999’s “Sweet and Lowdown” and 2001’s “I Am Sam.” It would have been hard for the academy to deny him again, especially in favor of first-time nominees Murray and Depp – who weren’t deemed undeniable for their projects.
4. “Mystic River” had more overall academy support than “Lost in Translation” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”Penn’s film has six noms, including Best Picture, Best Director for Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor for Tim Robbins, Best Supporting Actress for Marcia Gay Harden and Best Adapted Screenplay. (Robbins stole the prize in his category, the only other Oscar for “Mystic River.”) “Lost in Translation” was similarly a Best Picture nominee, but with just four bids (including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay — the latter of which would be the only win for “Lost”). As for “Pirates,” Depp was the only above-the-line nom of its five, which put him in rough waters. The momentum for “Mystic River” meant smooth sailing for Penn.
5. He received bonus points for “21 Grams.”I’ll concede that this was only a small factor, but might have made a big difference in a tough contest. Penn presented a much more subdued turn as a dying professor in “Grams.” But the heavyweight dramatics of Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro earned them nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. Most academy members probably watched the film, and were impressed by Penn’s body of work in 2003. The combined weight of his starring roles in both “Mystic River” and “21 Grams” tipped the scale in his favor. Twenty years later, it all adds up.
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Clint Eastwood

2 of Clint Eastwood’s Most Famous Oscar-Winning Films Were Turned Down By Major Studios in Favor of Over-Cooked Formulaic Blockbusters

Clint Eastwood has proven time and time again throughout his almost seven-decade-old and counting career that he is not just an incredible actor, but one of the most exceptionally remarkable filmmakers as well. His big-screen works like Dirty Harry and Gran Torino are the living proof of his legendary legacy that he is currently carrying forward.
Clint Eastwood in a still from The Mule

Clint Eastwood in a still from The Mule
But the true potential of his spectacular works wasn’t always visible to the production companies and studios, a major reason behind this was the ‘over-cooked formulaic’ blockbusters that most of the major studios were in favor of. In fact, two of Eastwood’s super famous and Oscar-winning films to date, Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River, were almost engulfed in these flames and never made!
Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River Were Almost Never Made
A still from Mystic River (2003)A still from Mystic River (2003)
Although Clint Eastwood has given the entertainment industry some of the best works of all time, many in the industry once failed to recognize his true filmmaking potential – something that put the existence of two of his blockbusters, Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River, in danger.
As revealed by him in an interview shared by The Clint Eastwood Archive, the actor shared how initially major studios failed to realize the true potential of Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River. He said:
“I liked the Million Dollar Baby script a lot,” he said. “Warner Bros. said the project had been submitted to them and they’d passed on it. I said, ‘But I like it.’ They said, ‘Well, it’s a boxing movie.’ And I said, ‘It’s not a boxing movie in my opinion. It’s a father-daughter love story, and it’s a lot of other things besides a boxing movie.’”
Continuing, he let out how little the studios were willing to help him financially for the film.
“They hemmed and hawed and finally said that if I wanted to take it, maybe they’d pay for the domestic rights only. After that, I’d be on my own.”
Since that obviously wasn’t a good enough price, Eastwood found himself out on search once again.
“We took it to a couple of other studios, and they turned it down, much like Mystic River was turned down — the exact same pattern. People who kept calling and saying, ‘Come on, work with us on stuff.’ I’d give it to them, and they’d go, ‘Uh, we were thinking more in terms of Dirty Harry coming out of retirement.’ And who knows? Maybe when it comes out they’ll be proven right.”
Just like that, because of over-cooked formulaic blockbusters like Dirty Harry, two of Clint Eastwood’s most famous Oscar-winning movies were turned down by major studios.
How Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River Came To Be
A still from Million Dollar Baby (2004)A still from Million Dollar Baby (2004)
In another interview (via East Bay Times), Clint Eastwood shared insights into his decisions for making the “bleak and the bleaker”: Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, and how the films came to be.
“At this particular time in my life, I’m not doing anything as a moneymaker,” Eastwood said. “It’s like I’m pushing the envelope the other way to see how far we can go to be noncommercial.”
The filmmaker then let out what helped him get away with making both of the movies:
“I didn’t know if ‘Mystic River’ would go over at all… But I just told Warners the same thing I did with ‘Million Dollar Baby’: ‘I don’t know if this is going to make any money. But I think I can make a picture that you’d be proud to have in your library.’”
That statement most certainly seemed to work as both Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River earned the approval of the studios and went on to do wonders on the big screens as well as on the audience’s hearts—even ending up garnering numerous Oscar nominations and wins to add up to Clint Eastwood‘s star-studded collection!

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Clint Eastwood

Shyam Benegal: ‘You Don’t Have To Give The Audience What They Want; You Have To Create Something New…”

Circa 50 years ago, Shyam Benegal was in the vanguard of the offbeat cinema movement with path-breaking 1970s films such as Ankur (Shabana Azmi, Anant Nag), Nishant (Girish Karnad, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah), Manthan (Smita Patil, Girish Karnad) and Bhumika (Smita Patil, Amol Palekar). Benegal’s filmmaking, though, started even earlier. He reminds us, “My career didn’t start with feature films. I have made several documentaries before and since that were very satisfying too.” And of course he went on to helm the seminal TV show Bharat Ek Khoj.In his late 80s now, Benegal is still in the thick of things. Mention his latest film, Mujib: The Making Of A Nation, and he quips, “That has been completed and released.” He is immersed in the present, where the current mood of cinema, especially OTT, is in alignment with the temperament of this forward-thinking filmmaker.
Excerpts from the interview
It is amazing that filmmakers like Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorcese and you continue to make films even after crossing 80. Would you say the creative impulse is as strong even now as it was 50 years ago when you made Ankur?
I am 89 years old now, and Clint Eastwood is 93. The fact that Clint Eastwood continues to make films at his age inspires me too. The creative urge is still strong within me. I’m a filmmaker and I am still driven by the desire to make films. And that is why I still make cinema. I haven’t been well over the last few years … it comes with old age (said dryly). I have to undergo dialysis almost every second day. But, despite all that, I can’t retire.
Zubeidaa

Zubeidaa |

Your latest film Mujib: The Making Of A Nation has just been released. What gripped you about the subject?
He is the man who paved the way for the creation of Bangladesh. I found his story intriguing and I think it made for interesting cinema.
Ankur Ankur |

What challenges did you face while making the film, especially bilingual?
Every film I have made has presented its own set of challenges. This film was made in Bengali but the Bengali spoken in the eastern parts is different from the language spoken in West Bengal. In fact, within Bangladesh itself, the Bangla in Dhaka is different from the dialect in Chittagong. Thanks to the literature I had read and the music I have heard,  I was aware of the culture this side of the border, but I had to familiarise myself with the milieu of the east for the film.
You have made several biographies earlier like Bhumika, Sardar Begum, Zubeidaa and films on Gandhi, Bose and now Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. As a filmmaker, is it possible to be objective about your subject?
I make these films because I admire these people, but as a filmmaker I have to be objective. However, one’s objectivity is limited by one’s perception of these people. Every filmmaker has his own viewpoint, his perception. They are fascinating characters… How you present them cinematically depends on your sensibility and sensitivity.
It is now 50 years since you made your first feature film Ankur (1973). Has it been a satisfying journey creatively?
No and yes. Every person strives for perfection but that is not always possible so one has to keep striving, and find satisfaction in the creative process. I have enjoyed experimenting with varied themes … from serious films to Mandi which was a comedy on the subject of prostitution.
MujubMujub |

You have made 24 feature films in these five decades, what are your three best films?
That is not possible for me because when I look back I notice flaws in my films. It’s also a matter of opinion. Many people, including me, would say that Pather Panchali is Satyajit Ray’s best film but he himself thought that Charulata was his most refined work.
You followed Ankur with critical triumphs like Nishant, Manthan, Bhumika and Junoon. This string of 1970s films can be credited with starting the art film movement in Hindi cinema. Your thoughts.
I have been a part of the art film movement but there were so many other directors who were making these kinds of films — Ritwik Ghatak, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mrinal Sen, Satyajit Ray, M S Sathyu, Govind Nihalani and others.
You have been a part of Indian cinema for 50 years, would you say it has changed for the better?
Technologically, the equipment available nowadays for lighting, editing and shooting is tremendous and they are able to shoot much faster. In comparison, the techniques we had were very primitive. Thematically too, cinema is bound to change because it have to keep up with the times. You don’t have to give the audience what they what, you have to create something new that they did not know they wanted.

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Clint Eastwood

10 forgotten Clint Eastwood films that few remember

To speak of Clint Eastwood is to allude to one of the most important actors and directors in Hollywood who, incidentally, took time to be mayor of the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
With more than 70 credits in his career, just as an actor, we tend to be clear about which Clint Eastwood masterpieces to evoke when we talk about his career.
Movies like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, No forgiveness, Dirty Harry o Million Dollar Baby They are essential stops in his filmography, not to mention legendary ones like The iron sergeant o Gran Torino.
But today, in HobbyCine de Hobby Consolas, we will talk about 10 Clint Eastwood films that are usually forgotten by a large part of the public.
On the tightrope
On the Tightrope (1984)


Let’s start with one of the best eighties thrillers that Clint Eastwood starred in in the eighties: On the tightrope.
He actor Californian has starred in many thrillers throughout his career and, for some reason, this film with psychological overtones is not usually one of the first to come to fans’ minds.
Eastwood plays Wes Block, a New Orleans detective investigating a serial rapist and killer wreaking havoc on the city.
Soon, he discovers that he and the murderer have several sinister points in common, bringing to the surface fears that he thought buried forever.
The blacklist
The Blacklist (1988)
In 1988, Clint Eastwood played for the last time Harry Callahanthe always controversial Dirty Harry, in The blacklist.
For some, the weakest of the saga, for others, as good as the first. Be that as it may, the movie directed by Buddy Van Horn It is not the first that comes to mind when talking about the most scoundrel police officer that the actor has ever starred in.
Of course, some of us still look askance at remote-controlled cars when we see them on the street, lest it be…
A haul of $500,000
A $500,000 Loot (1974)
Eastwood’s career also took its time in heist films and buddy movies, and one of his seventies films was A haul of $500,000.
The movie of Michael Cimino paired Clint Eastwood with Jeff Bridges to plan and carry out a robbery of the supposedly impregnable Bank of Montana.
“Lightning”‘s (Eastwood) former partners form an uneasy alliance with them that could be more problematic than beneficial.
A $500,000 Loot is a great film that, despite all the technological advances, has aged quite well, being released in 1974.
The seducer
The Seducer (1971)
We cannot forget the heartthrob Clint Eastwood: to think that the actor only plays tough guys who would crack you like a nut for looking at them wrong would be unfair.
The seducer It takes us to the American Civil War, where the actor plays a northern soldier wounded in combat who is rescued by a young woman from a girls’ school.
After taking him to school, when the soldier recovers, he becomes a conqueror who drives everyone crazy, and by crazy we mean that the school becomes the headquarters of Celos International.
Alcatraz escape
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood have collaborated on numerous occasions throughout their respective careers. In 1979, director and actor signed Alcatraz escape.
See if we tend to forget this film, consolega, that even a certain editor of this website – yours truly – forgot about it when writing a news story about The Rock and stating that Sean Connery He was the first to escape from prison.
The best prison series: Vis a vis, Wentworth, Prison Break...
Clint Eastwood plays a tremendously insightful and intelligent inmate who has had enough of the prison system after several successful escapes.
In the end they intern him in the maximum security prison of Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, daring him to escape from where no one has managed to escape. A challenge that he gladly accepted.
Two mules and a woman
Two Mules and a Woman (1970)
In fact, Don Siegel was also in the director’s chair of Two mules and a womanone of Clint Eastwood’s westerns that we most often overlook.
Nor is it a bad film if there is a logical reason for it to be an unnoticed Western, but other films by the actor, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Legend of the Nameless City, Death Had a Price or A Fistful of Dollarsthey tend to overshadow it.
License to kill
License to Kill (1975)
In addition to sharing a title with one of the James Bond films, although the 007 film came almost three decades later, License to kill was one of Clint Eastwood’s first films as an actor and director.
Released in 1975, this thriller uses the trope of the protagonist who reaches a dark past that he thought he had left behind.
Eastwood plays a former hitman who worked for an international organization.
Although he is retired, he is blackmailed and ordered to kill one of the three people trying to summit the Eiger in the Swiss Alps.
A perfect world
A Perfect World (1993)
A perfect world is a film that had the bad luck to see the light of day a year after Unforgiven and, in many ways, is overshadowed even by In the line of firealso released in 1993.
This road movie with a sixties setting puts Clint Eastwood in the shoes of a Texas ranger in charge of hunting down fugitives who have kidnapped a child during their escape.
suicide route
Suicide Route (1977)
Among Clint Eastwood’s police thrillers in the seventies, we also find the frequently forgotten Suicide Route.
The actor plays an alcoholic police officer who has the mission of escorting a prostitute from Las Vegas to Phoenix, although the obstacles they will encounter to prevent the witness from giving a statement will be constant.
Space Cowboys
Space Cowboys (2000)
More than forgotten, Space Cowboys It is usually vilified without much reason, since it is a very entertaining product without being, by any means, the best thing that Clint Eastwood has done.
The actor and director surrounds himself with some of the biggest names in Hollywood who have been sporting gray hair for decades for one last rodeo, yes, in orbit.
When a Russian satellite leaves its orbit, the creator of its systems is tasked with repairing it, but he will only go into orbit in the company of the companions he was able to fly with in the past.
None of the Clint Eastwood films that we have mentioned today are bad, far from it, but they are works that tend to be buried in that ocean of masterpieces that the actor and director has left behind throughout his many decades in the industry.

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