Eastwood’s appearance “marked the oldest backing of a Republican candidate by a Hollywood A-lister in a generation or more,” says
Amy Argetsinger of Reliable Source
“The 82-year-old has won renown (and two Oscars) for his directing in recent decades, but it was against the silhouette of one of his 1960s spaghetti Western gunslingers and a twanging guitar that he arrived at the podium.
“I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, ‘What’s a movie tradesman doing out here? They’re all left wingers out there, left of Lenin!’” he began. “There are a lot of conservative people, moderate people, Republicans, Democrats in Hollywood . . . The conservative people by the nature of the word play it closer to the vest. . . Believe me, they’re there.”
He recalled Obama’s election night with some gentle sarcasm. “They were talking about hope and change. . . I just thought, This is great. Everyone was crying. Oprah was crying. I was even crying. . . ”
Sharp segue: “There’s 23 million unemployed people in this country. That’s something to cry for.”
Turning to the empty chair, he quizzed the absent president about Afghanistan in tones that suggested he favors a quick exit. “You mentioned about having a target date for bringing everybody home — I think Mr. Romney said, why are you putting out the date now, why don’t you bring them home tomorrow morning.”
And then, sounding like your crabby uncle doing dinner-table comedy: “What do you want me to tell Romney? I can’t tell him to do that! He can’t do that to himself!”
No reliance on a Teleprompter here; Eastwood even gave the impression he was talking off the top of his head. The room laughed heartily and roared its approval throughout, but many TV viewers expressed bafflement on Twitter.”
Jen Chaney of Celebritology
says that the timing of the speech “comes at a moment when Eastwood already has hit some off-notes from an image-perspective.”
His last two directorial efforts, “J. Edgar” and “Hereafter,” have not been met with the same universal critical acclaim lavished on previous films such as “Gran Torino,” “Letters from Iwo Jima” and “Million Dollar Baby.” Some heads also were scratched when he decided, along with wife Dina Eastwood, to allow his family to become the subject of an E! reality show. He may not have lost respect on a significant level, but his choices may be inserting an Eastwood question mark into some people’s minds that didn’t exist there before.