Invictus (Warner Bros.)
1. I don’t know what happens when Clint Eastwood sits behind the lens on a film, but the acting that goes on in front of the lens is almost always awful. (“Gran Torino” was no exception to this rule.) I like Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, and their portrayals of Francois Pienaar and Nelson Mandela, respectively, are pretty good save for a few awkward South African accents. But every other actor in the film feels as if they were picked off the streets of Johannesburg a day before shooting began. Does it make for great South African accents? Yep. Does it make for good acting? Not so much.
2. Some of the film’s soundtrack, which was put together by Clint’s son, Kyle, features South African music that is appropriate to the era. But other parts of the soundtrack are jarring, not moving the film along at all and actually causing the viewer to stop and say outloud, “What’s with this music?” Half of the soundtrack is music from the South African boy band Overtone, which is clearly not my cup of tea. Just imagine watching a Clint Eastwood movie while this song rambles on in the background. Yeah… not so good.
3. I know this is essentially a bio pic based on real events, but they chose the wrong period of time in Nelson Mandela’s life to make a movie out of. The movie begins with him being elected president, and the only drama that takes place during the entire two hours is a collapse from exhaustion and a low-flying airplane. Nelson Mandela spent thirty years of his life in prison! Tell that story, not the dull, day-in/day-out blah blah blahs of his excitement with the sport of rugby.
4. There’s enough cheeseball slow-motion in the last five minutes of the film to make John Woo and all of his doves blush. Seriously.
5. It’s already been nominated for numerous Golden Globes (Morgan Freeman for lead, Matt Damon for supporting, and Clint Eastwood for director), and it will clearly go on to be nominated for a few Oscars. I don’t know why, but it will. Sigh.
Maybe next time,