Well, the last thing the world needs is more Academy Awards blather. As usual, I’m ready to fill the need. But just to say this:
I confess I don’t know much about the Life of Clint Eastwood. Maybe a little bit about the arc of his career — TV cowboy (“Rawhide”) to spaghetti western idol (“A Fistful of Dollars,” etc.) to lone-wolf cop (“Dirty Harry,” etc.) to more westerns (“High Plains Drifter”) to odd self-directed semi-comedic turns (“Every Which Way But Loose”) to seriously violent and introspective western (“Unforgiven”), concluding with a couple of modern tragedies: “Mystic River” and the one he one an award for tonight, “Million Dollar Baby.” Then there are a couple harder-to-classify roles in there, too — “The Beguiled” and “Play Misty for Me.”
All of which is to say: Who would’ve thought that the same guy who rode his Dirty Harry one-liners for so long (one per movie: “Feel lucky, punk?”; “A man’s got to know his own limitations”; “Go ahead, make my day”) would turn into what he has — some kind of sensitive Hollywood-type master of cinema (yeah, I know about contradictions in terms)?
Now I need to confess: I haven’t seen “Million Dollar Baby.” Or “Mystic River.” From the reviews I’ve read, they both sound extremely wrenching emotionally, and I actually haven’t been able to bring myself to watch them. Yet. (It’s happened with other movies, too; such as “Saving Private Ryan.” It took me about a year to see that.)