Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Bridges of Madison County (1995) - ★★★★

Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Richard LaGravenese (Screenplay), Robert James Waller (Novel)
Stars: Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Annie Corley, Jim Haynie

I'm just gonna go right ahead and say it, this is the best acting I've ever seen Clint Eastwood do. The Bridges of Madison County captivated me. Throughout the film my emotions welled up inside of me, just waiting for a catalyst that would make me cry. Out of nowhere came one of the most passionate, powerful scenes I've ever seen. I can honestly say that this movie made me cry harder than almost any other.
Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep) lives a dull and unfulfilled life as the wife and mother of a family that doesn't give her much appreciation. When her family leaves for a few days, Photographer Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) wanders into her life when he asks her for directions to a bridge in Madison County. She goes with him to the bridge, not knowing that she would fall passionately in love with the man.

At first I wasn't very impressed with the movie. I didn't really like the performances of her children, played by Annie Corley and Jim Haynie. As soon as the story flash-backed to Francesca's life, the movie became really special.

Meryl Streep gave a powerhouse performance as an Italian who moved to America with her husband. Although her accent wasn't always perfect, the expressions on her face were masterful. Towards the end Streep gave one of the most emotionally powerful performances I've ever seen. Her acting was a major reason why this romance affected me so much.

The other reason was Clint Eastwood. You see a side to him in this that you hardly ever see. He's a smiling, sweet, beautiful man that knows how to treat a woman right. For a guy that's nearly 60, he looks so handsome as the leading man. I really do think this is his greatest performance for one major reason. The scene where he's standing in the rain looking at Francesca tore me apart. His eyes were so fierce and had so much pain in them, it was more passionate than almost any performance I've seen by an actor.

Yes you could dissect and nitpick things here and there about the movie, but in the end it's the romance that stays in your mind.... and Clint Eastwood's face when he's standing in the rain.

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