Review / “Cry Macho” (2021) by Clint Eastwood – Bulles de Culture

Cry Macho, adapted from Nathan Richard Nusbaum’s novel, tells the story of an old cowboy sent to Mexico to wrest a teenage boy from his alcoholic mother. The film by and with Clint Eastwood revives the western, a genre that fans of the director know well. The film criticism and the opinion of Bulles de Culture.

Synopsis :

Mike (Clint Eastwood), a fallen rodeo star, is given an apparently impossible mission: to travel to Mexico to find a turbulent teenager and bring him to Texas. It will take him to face the Mexican underworld, the police and his own past.

Cry Macho : a return to the past full of nostalgia

The time is long gone when Clint Eastwood started out in spaghetti westerns, some of which have become cult. We obviously think of the trilogy of Sergi Leone initiated with For a handful of dollars, but also the saga Inspector Harry from Wolfgang Petersen or his collaborations with Don Siegel, especially for Gold for the brave and Escape from Alcatraz.

Since the mid-2000s, the iconic actor, who has become a director, has become aware of the passage of time and orientates his filmography around characters in search for redemption, such as the republican cantankerous in Gran Torino or the retired drug smuggler for The mule. Always politicized, these films also highlight these everyday heroes who strive, sometimes in spite of themselves, to make the world a better place. We can notably cite Le cas Richard Jewell following a security guard during the deadly Atlanta Games bombings, first put on a pedestal before then being suspected by the Secret Service. It is the same with Sully, captain of a plane that he miraculously landed on the Hudson in 2009, saving 155 passengers.

CRY MACHO review photo review
© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credit: Claire Folger

With Cry Macho, Clint Eastwood certainly offers a return to the past by distilling in this film elements of his former life. In a western atmosphere, shot in New Mexico, the 91-year-old actor gets on his stirrups again and gets back on horseback for the first time since Ruthless, shot 30 years ago. The multi-award-winning director is also ironic about his status as a seducer by shaping the image of a character who is always able to please women. Also, her romance in the film with Marta is reminiscent of the one in On The Madison Road where, a lonely and isolated woman, played by Natalia Traven, pendant from Meryl Street, unreasonably succumbs to the charm of this cowboy who came out of nowhere, taking her out of her daily life.

A passing of the torch to the younger generation

Most Clint Eastwood doesn’t cling to his past glory at all, thinking he hasn’t changed in 30 years. On the contrary, the American star is very ironic about his age and does not hide the heavy weight left by these years, in particular through spicy dialogues: ” What can I do against old age« , « before I was a lot of things“. The film then turns more than ever towards a passing of the torch. On screen, the ex-rodeo star and exhausted horse breeder tries to teach his young companion to become a macho, a being with a hard heart, a strong mind and soul. . The journey they make together is a kind of learning pilgrimage during which the first transmits what he was so that the second becomes.

CRY MACHO review photo review
© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credit: Claire Folger

Behind the camera, we have the impression that Cry Macho is this movie of the passing of the torch. Clint Eastwood moreover chooses in conscience this actor, Eduardo Minett, of which it is the first film, as if to indicate that it is necessary from now on to leave place to the youth. Does this mean that Cry Macho is the director’s last film? Not sure Clint Eastwood will return his gun right away, but his vision is clear. Judging that it belongs to the cinema of the past, it now leaves room for the future. However, it is precisely with this philosophy that the film comes to particularly touch, demonstrating more than ever that the American star is the filmmaker of the present.

Our opinion ?

Between nostalgia and handover, Cry Macho reflects the personality of Clint Eastwood who puts a lot of him in this feature film. This introspection makes this unique feature film very moving because it is a message of the future and of hope to the young generation.

Find out more:

  • France release date: 11/10/2021
  • Distribution France : Warner Bros.
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Review / “Cry Macho” (2021) by Clint Eastwood – Bulles de Culture