starring Matt Damon, Cécile de France and Frankie McLaren
written by Peter Morgan
directed by Clint Eastwood
I expected more. I thought it was unfocussed, with no middle or end to the story. In fact, what story? It’s actually three stories, but nothing more than a marginal connection is made among them. Matt Damon is a psychic in San Francisco. His psychic ability is a curse more than a gift and so he shuns doing readings for people - customers who come offering cash, groping, then pleading to connect with lost loved ones. He connects with an English boy in London who recently lost his twin brother, and a French television presenter who survived near death in a tsunami disaster. What’s the relation? What’s the point? Where are these three story lines taking us? I don’t know. Eastwood makes the afterlife boring. But to be fair, this movie is not about what happens to people after they die. It’s about what happens to the living after someone close to them dies.
Like several other of his films, Clint Eastwood did the score himself. It’s very distinctive, relaxing, folksy guitar work that almost tranquilizes you. To picture Clint Eastwood’s musical style imagine a tired laborer resting on the porch of his rural house at the end of the day - a house with no electricity or running water or modern amenities - living his life just for the sunset. Eastwood’s minimalist, meandering guitar strumming is the expression of the tired everyman’s philosophy of blunt, no-frills endurance topped off with exhaustion.
The most interesting character in the film is Carlo the Italian cooking teacher, played by Steven R. Schirripa.