“CRY MACHO” AND GETTING OLD

While I have never admired Eastwood’s politics, his movies range from very good to brilliant. He may be the last of the great old-time movie makers.

In this HBO movie, the story is about aging and the decisions life asks of you in youth and later, in old age. Eastwood is old and shows it, though Garry wonders how much of his fragility (Eastwood just turned 91) is real aging and how much is Eastwood’s acting. My guess is that at his age, it’s both.

His main character — Mike Milo — was a cowhand and sometime rodeo rider who is still trying to figure out life. In one scene (this is as close to what he said as I can remember), “You think you know everything, but then you get older and you realize you don’t know anything. You get even older and by the time you figure it out, it’s too late.” That’s very close to our reality. Also, it’s true.

These days, I only know what I believe most deeply. Most everything else has disappeared as life has taught me other truths. Now I have opinions, sometimes firm, often less than solidly jelled. I know what I want to be true, what I wish were true — but most of the stuff I was sure of has been blown away by reality. I haven’t quite found what should replace those old ideas. Perhaps, they don’t need replacing. They were based on a truth I no longer believe. In the movie, I sensed that is exactly what he was talking about.

Eastwood is still discovering truth as he ages. Maybe that is what is wrong with so much of America. Everyone knows everything until what they believe turns out to be wrong. So many people never discover how much of what they believe is nonsense. An underlying message in the movie and in life is that learning and life are not separate. Learning is what keeps you you alive.

It’s nice someone is still making movies to which I can relate. Not only could I related to what Mike says, but I could remember being that kid. Probably the most unlikely aspect of the story is that the young man actually listens to Mike.

I liked the rooster, loved the horses, and I think the young man — Eduardo Minett — has a future. It was also wonderful to see Clint back on a horse. I especially loved the horseback riding lessons. Talk about memories!

Get your heels down. Sit up straight. Look where you are going,” — also known as “steering your horse.”

When you are learning to ride, It’s easy to get so involved in the technical riding issues that you forget to steer your four-legged vehicle. It was also great to see that some things never change.

Although the story has shades of potential violence, actual violence never occurs. Somehow the two characters manage to dodge and weave their way around it and the worst result are some pissed off bad guys and a few aggravated Mexican Federales. No blood, gore, death, or brutality. The shadows linger, but they remain shadows.

Cry Macho by Clint Eastwood (back on a horse again and the movie’s producer, director, and star – with Eduard Minett

It’s currently available on HBOMax and in the movies. If you are signed up with HBOMax, you should watch this one. We liked it. It is what Garry calls “a good little movie.” Little in the sense that it is a small cast, lots of beautiful cinematography, and thought-provoking. As a side note, I’ll watch anything with horses — with or without humans.

The reviews are mixed, but mostly good. This one, from (of all places) The Wall Street Journal is a good one to check out. Rolling Stone gave it an even better review. Considering the sources, that is a statement about how this movie speaks to all ages.

Note that in reading reviews, their subscription issues apply.



Categories: Getting old, Movie Review, Movies, western movies

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Everyone talks about Tom Brady playing football at age 44 but Eastwood’s acting at age 91 is more spectacular.

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    • I don’t think it’s a competition, though I see your point. I think it’s remarkable either way, for entirely different reasons. I suppose for me the really big difference is when Brady stops playing, I won’t really care that much — but when we finally lose Eastwood, that is a tragedy.

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  2. AH, HORSES…….THE LOVES OF MY LIFE. FOR YEARS. WHEN I WAS A KID I LEARNED TO RIDE ON THE HARRY CAREY RANCH AND DID DID SO EVERY DAY. MANY YEARS LATER, HARRY CAREY, JR. TOLD MY DAUGHTER, “YOUR MOTHER USED TO RIDE LIKE AN INDIAN….BAREBACK AND WIDE OPEN.” LATER IN LIFE I TRAINED HORSES. THEY ARE TRULY NOBLE CREATURES.

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    • I remember when I was a teenager thinking that all my friends wanted “boys.” I didn’t give a rat’s ass about boys, but I figured if I had a horse, life would be good. I didn’t get the horse. It turned out that men were much easier to corral than horses.

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  3. I love the free spirit of a horse but somehow no one picked up horse riding as a passion in my home. I wanted to learn but then the sheer force and speed made me meek every time when it was about equestrian.

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    • The hardest part to deal with is the simple enormous size difference. Horses are big and they could hurt you, if they wanted to. Fortunately, they usually are not interested in hurting anyone. But I guess it takes some time, being around them, to realize that they are very sweet creatures.

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  4. Clint Eastwood reminds me of Garry Cooper–hard to tell where the acting actually begins. I hope you get good news about the surgery/no surgery this morning, Marilyn. Still keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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    • I think Cooper would have been a much better actor if the studios had let him play a bigger variety of acting roles. He could be quite funny — a pretty decent comedian. If you get a chance, watch “Along Came Jones.” It’s a western comedy. Cooper starred in it and FUNDED it. I think he was also the producer. It has been one of my favorite westerns since I was a kid — and my favorite Gary Cooper western.

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