Death is the muse in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, Hereafter 2010Peter MorganClint EastwoodMatt Damon, Cécile De France Bitter,Bitterometer,meter Hereafter(2010)

Matt Damon sees dead people in Clint Eastwood’s foray into European-inspired cinema “Hereafter.” Damon, Belgian star Cécile De France and twins Frankie and George McLaren assemble an international triumvirate that uniquely experience mortality: George (Damon) tires to hide his metaphysical gifts to communicate with the deceased; Marie (De France) survives a natural disaster that leaves her struggling to return to her journalist career; and Marcus (the McLarens) seeks to contact his dead brother Jason from the beyond. Their journey leads them to a star-crossed encounter where closure could heal to their collective pain.

“Hereafter” is Clint Eastwood’s effort to channel Ingmar Bergman’s penchant for existentialism. Eastwood’s strongest asset is his concise narrative, making him a good choice to helm an understated movie. But “Hereafter” is to the otherworld what “Schindler’s List” was to the Holocaust: a Hollywood popcorn art film (the movie was produced by Spielberg, after all). Credit goes to Eastwood for keeping film grounded and character-driven; a lesser director would have overblown it. Eastwood displays some of his most visually grandiose scenes (the tsunami in the opening five minutes), yet manages to feature scenes of subdued intimacy such as when George and Melanie (Bryce Dallas Howard) charming each other during a cooking class. And to think this is directed by the same guy who blew scumbags away with a .44 Magnum!

“Hereafter,” thoughtfully written by Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) is an involving human drama that ends up cherishing life more than solving the jigsaw puzzle of death. But for all of “Hereafter’s” good qualities, the film never quite hits the melancholic conclusions that make films about life and death like “The Seventh Seal” or even newer ones like “The Sweet Hereafter” deeply profound. In “Hereafter,” death wants to be more cathartic than inevitable.


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Hereafter2010Peter MorganClint EastwoodMatt Damon, Cécile De France  Hereafter2010Peter MorganClint EastwoodMatt Damon, Cécile De France 

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