When it comes to award shows and the Oscars in particular, I’d rather watch an Oprah marathon and that, in and of itself is saying something. That’s because I’d rather be dead than watch Oprah Winfrey. I have trouble with any industry that celebrates its self and the film industry tops the list. The only time I even pay attention to it is when my mother asks me to print off the nomination list for her Oscar party every year. When I glanced over the ballot and saw that Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino was not on the list I was pretty pissed off.
So I took a look at the movies that have been nominated, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – never hear of him. Frost/Nixon – can’t we let Tricky Dick rest in peace? Milk – don’t drink the stuff. The Reader – is that about a librarian with super mind powers? Slumdog Millionaire – I can’t watch a movie where the scenery is open sewers and the buildings are older than FAMU’s dormitories.
I wondered what this Benjamin Button dude was all about so I goggled it and it’s a movie about a man born at the age of eighty. Not much of a life span for you pal I thought. But the trick is that he doesn’t get any older but younger. I mean, does he die in a Petri dish when the sperm cell fights its way free from the egg? Who comes up with shit like this?
Anyway, now that Gran Torino has been snubbed in all the major categories I will boycott going to the theatre and wait on the bootleg dude at the liquor store. In my humble opinion Eastwood has been one the greatest actors and directors in history. I grew up on his spaghetti westerns but Eastwood really came of age to me in the Dirty Harry movies. Who could ever forget the line “Do you feel lucky…punk?”
So in no particular order, here are my favorite Eastwood films:
1. Million Dollar Baby
2. In the line of Fire
3. Heartbreak Ridge
4. Dirty Harry
6. The Outlaw Joesy Wales
7. Pale Rider
8. Space Cowboys
9. Sudden Impact
The thing with Eastwood is you always know what you are going to get; an ill tempered tough guy with just enough of a soft spot that makes his characters likable. I am positive that once I see Gran Torino it will rank somewhere in my top ten. I do have to admit though; I wasn’t too fond of the fight movies with the orangutan. It is a shame that Gran Torino will be his last on screen performance but I do hope that he’ll stay behind the camera as long as he can.