You have to dig pretty deep to find instances of the supernatural in Clint Eastwood’s career. In his more than fifty years of acting and directing, there’s been a conspicuous lack of woo-woo material—the closest you’ll get is a ghostly, whispering wind in Pale Rider and a certain preternaturally mischievous orangutan. This is what’s most striking about Hereafter, Eastwood’s 32nd film as director: it doesn’t just dabble in a subject matter the filmmaker has hitherto eschewed, but goes whole hog, channeling spirits from the netherworld and envisioning the bright lights of the Great Beyond with all the loud music cues and fuzzy CG of an episode of Medium. Unfortunately, this is also the only thing that’s striking about Hereafter. While there’s something admirable about an eighty-year-old filmmaker working outside his comfort zone, his near-complete unsuitability for the project means he’s working outside of ours, too. Read Leo Goldsmith’s review of Hereafter.
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