Paul Schrader hits out at Clint Eastwood’s new film that ‘fails in every area’

‘Raging Bull’ screenwriter called Eastwood’s character ‘a shrunken Dirty Harry’

Annabel Nugent
Monday 27 September 2021 08:35
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Cry Macho

Paul Schrader has hit out at Clint Eastwood’s latest film Cry Macho.

The American screenwriter – best known for his work on Martin Scorsese films including Taxi Driver and Raging Bull – commonly shares candid reviews of films on his Facebook page.

Schrader’s latest target is Eastwood’s new western Cry Macho, in which the actor-director also stars.

The film has been received unenthusiastically by many critics.

Schrader concurred with the negative assessments of Cry Macho, writing on Facebook: “I can appreciate the inclination to give Clint Eastwood a pass but has an important American director made a film as bad as Cry Macho since Howard Hawks’ Man’s Favourite Sport?”

Hawks’s romantic comedy was released in 1964 to similarly lukewarm reviews.

Speaking further about Cry Macho, Schrader added: “It fails in every area: screenwriting, lighting, locations, sets, props, wardrobe and casting.

“When, early on, Eastwood employs an under the car shot of a boot hitting the ground I thought, ‘Great, he’s going to riff on the stylisations of macho westerns’ – but that was the last interesting composition in the film.”

“Sure, Clint is given a few cliché-ridden passages about the futility of machismo but these only have value because a shrunken Dirty Harry is giving voice to them. These character insights had value 30 years ago. It was like listening to a criminal apologise to the family of his victims in hopes that the judge will cut him a lesser sentence.”

In contrast to the reviews for Eastwood’s latest film, Schrader’s new release, The Card Counter – which stars Oscar Isaac as a war-veteran-turned-gambler – has been received mostly positively.

The Card Counter is slated for release in the UK on 5 November.

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