I love the podcast moment when In Contention‘s Kris Tapley and Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson are discussing Invictus and Tapley presses her to say if she thought it was “flat” or not and she says yeah, she sorta did find it flat, and yet she found it moving all the same.
If there’s one description that applies to Thompson as a film critic or commentator it’s “diplomatic.” She knows the film world over under sideways down, but butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. And yet I felt for her this time because I expressed a somewhat similar view in my own review, which went up on 11.27. I didn’t call Invictus moving, although I did equate it to good pasta.
“I almost admire [director Clint] Eastwood for keeping it as simple and straightforward as it is,” I wrote. “It’s nice to see restraint and centeredness in a director, and there’s something very elegant about the way he steers Invictus along at 35 mph without cranking things up for the sake of cranking things up.
“I know, I know — a satisfying plate of pasta doesn’t have to be ‘brilliant.’ It just has to be carefully prepared and well seasoned and made with love. Invictus is a very pleasant and mildly stirring bowl of fettucini with a highly agreeable lead performance by Morgan Freeman.”
Oh, and Eastwood really did arrive in South Africa only a couple of days before shooting started on Invictus. And he finished eight days ahead of schedule.