Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” made $17.2 million over the weekend with almost no promotion. Will the Academy reward him with nominations? Let’s hope so.
“The Mule” deserves nominations for Best Actor, Picture, Director, Supporting Actress (Dianne Wiest), and Screenplay– at the very least. But Eastwood missed all the early awards groups by turning in his movie at the last minute. So it has no awards momentum. There’s a list of films to choose from, and that’s what’s going on now.
But “The Mule” not only has generated very good reviews, it’s now made money. It did better than its multiple, meaning word of mouth grew after Friday’s opening at $5.7 million. Indeed, the $17.2 million estimate may be low– it could be a total of $18 million when Sunday is fully adjusted.
Clint’s performance alone is worth the price of admission to “The Mule.” He is one sly fox. He’s very funny, self-effacing, and a little meta. But the underpinning of the movie is the sorrow his Earl carries for never being able to live up to his family’s needs. And that sorrow is beautifully expressed in Wiest, who has a scene toward the end that is heartbreaking. I hope the members of the Academy really see this film before Ballots go out in mid January.