MoviePosterArt: Gran Torino (2008)
There's a fascinating Eastwood debate going on at Dave Kehr's blog, in the comments under his Sleeping Beauty post, about halfway down. Kent Jones wins:
"I think Eastwood is a wonderful filmmaker and quite a misunderstood one, because while his syntax is rooted in another era, he also has a very musical sensibility, finding a groove or a chord and staying there, letting it degrade slowly and beautifully. I admire the quiet of his films, the way he makes room for simplicity and the way he sometimes links that simplicity to a sense of peace - one of my favorite moments in recent years is the look on Ken Watanabe’s face when he receives the pistol as a gift from the Americans, followed by his consternation over the possibility of America and Japan ever going to war: it’s not just a matter of performance, but of the director allowing the moment to be seen and felt. For me, there is so much greatness in MILLION DOLLAR BABY that I can’t really imagine making excuses for it."