An excerpt from my script review for Cry Macho which will be available 09/27/21:
3.) Quality of Characters
Remember when he talked to the chair?
That’s what I get called back to anytime I read/watch these “minorities aren’t bad” projects that, as the boss likes to mention, come across as an “I’m not racist” half apology for doing the chair bit.
(Sidenote – google “Clint Eastwood Great Movie Ride” where you can see pics from his animatronic at Disney World. If you look closely, you’ll see that he and the chair were working together long before that speech.)
Did Mike seem tailor made for Mr. Eastwood? Sure.
I was only hold it, so nobody steal
it from you…
Yeah kid. Your’e a real Boy Scout.
You can see Eastwood delivering lines like these in your head as you read.
It’s more of the The Mule effect that I mentioned above.
The issue with the casting though is Mike, in the script, is in his fifties and a badass in a fight.
Can Eastwood do that anymore? Realistically, I mean. Even with the camera tricks they use for Liam Neeson in the later Taken films.
One review I came across for the film said something along the lines of Marta, Mike’s Mexican widow love interest, seems to be “dancing” with him in such a way that it’s more propping him up hoping he doesn’t fall and break something.
A polite note short of saying she’s dancing with a corpse.
Hey, good for him still out directing films, I just wish we’d see something new.
Anyway, for this section, what really bothered me…
Remember when you’re introducing characters, writing a script isn’t the same as writing a novel.
The beat sports car is a reflection of its driver, [MIKE MILO.
A powerful man in his early fifties, who was a world renowned
horsetrainer over a period of twenty years; saddled 112
winners, 14 in the Breeders Cup alone, and two second and
third place finishers in The Kentucky Derby. The
“Outstanding Trainer of the Year” awards in 1999, 2000 and
2002 were the pinnacle of a career that suddenly crashed: THE
TRAGIC DEATH OF HIS WIFE AND INFANT SON BROUGHT RAGE, BOOZE,
AND FINALLY INDIFFERENCE, AND WITH IT, THE EROSION OF HIS
THE GLORY DAYS ARE PAST, LONG OVER.
How does an actor convey all of that onscreen? It’s almost as if the original author just copy/pasted the intro from his book into Final Draft.
The beat sports car is a reflection of its driver, MIKE MILO.
HIS HORSE BREEDING GLORY DAYS ARE LONG OVER.
There ya go.
We get his current state, what he does/did, and that he’ll arguably be some sort of rancher/cowboy with the horse training bit mentioned.
ALL the other stuff about his past should be teased out via subtext.
THAT is what keeps readers reading.
Another example from page 13:
ALEXANDRA MUNOS DE SANTIS POLK enters, holding an almost
empty snifter of mescal.
She is in her thirties, thin- almost gaunt, but handsome,
educated and well spoken in English, with only the trace of
accent. She has a sensual quality, lush, over -cultivated.
There is something unidentifiable about her – unpredictably
unstable – perhaps a little mad. But her besetting quality
is distress – a woman trying to dissemble it away, to drink
It’s just too long.
Can most of it be used as notes by the actor? Maybe.
But again this is the type of characteristics that should be unveiled by the dialogue and interactions she has with other characters.
This way comes across as amateurish, and as always don’t say in full paragraphs what can be accomplished with a single, well worded sentence.
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