Clint Eastwood’s ‘The 15:17 To Paris’ May Join The Oscar Race In December
Art and Experience: Director Clint Eastwood has helmed fourteen movies since hitting the age of 70. Has any director come close to that feat at this late stage in their career? Yes, Woody Allen‘s nearly been there thirteen films post-70, but Eastwood is still making hyper relevant films at the near twilight of his career and sometime breaking the box office in the process with something like “American Sniper.” Case in point his last two films: ‘Sniper‘ and “Sully,” both of which had the classicism of old-school Hollywood filmmaking, and yet, felt vitally alive and current. The resonant theme that binded both was the cost of hero worship. Both films have male characters who feel isolated and flawed, despite being deemed heroes by those around them.
It looks like “The 15:17 to Paris,” will be treading that line as well. Eastwood is currently busy these days shooting the aforementioned film, which is based on the true story of the three American students who stopped a terrorist attack two years ago in Paris. But in the ballsiest twist in recent mainstream filmmaking, the 87-year-old director has decided to screw conventional Hollywood casting and tapped the actual three real-life American students who stopped the terrorist on the train as the leads of the film. A risk that has had people talking, but it seems like Eastwood saw something in these young men that made him believe he could pull this off. My advice? Trust Clint. Also Eastwood really gives zero fucks these days so he probably doesn’t care anyhow.
Meanwhile, according to Variety‘s Kris Tapley, the film will breezily be ready for an Awards-Season release in December. The astonishing part of all this is that Eastwood only started shooting the film this summer, but he’s already known for his fast-paced under-the-radar productions. A prime example would be “Million Dollar Baby” in 2004, which wrapped up shooting in the summer and then had a very limited release in December just to qualify for Oscar. We all know how that turned out: the film won Best Picture and Clint nabbed his second Best Director prize. Now it’s all a matter if Warner Bros. wants to put it out in December or not.
In a career that spans more than 50 years in the director’s chair, Eastwood keeps honing his craft with the classicism he learned from his mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, as Time’s late great film critic Richard Corliss said, he makes it seem “as if the story is telling itself.” Who else can pull off that kind of classic simplicity these days? To say we’re looking forward to “The 15:17 to Paris” would be an understatement.