Quando è stato presentato in anteprima a Toronto il 12 settembre, l’accoglienza era stata piuttosto contrastata.
Da un duro come Eastwood non ci si aspettava un film sulla morte, sulla possibilità di comunicare con l’Aldilà, sull’elaborazione del lutto, strutturato in tre parti come un’opera di Inarritu.
Solo il solito Roger Ebert aveva azzardato una recensioen interamente positiva ed entusiastica.
E invece ora, nell’imminenza dell’uscita americana arrivano altre conferme del buon lavoro dell’ottentenne Eastwood.
Sia il New York Times che il Los Angeles Times lo lodano senza riserve per aver affrontato un tema così spinoso e facile ai sentimentalismi con la consueta asciuttezza, con il consueto stile senza fronzoli, di una classicità sublime, che ne ha fatto il più autorevole maestro del cinema americano dell’ultimo quarto di secolo.
Scrive Kenneth Turan:
Over the years, Eastwood has very much become a director we expect to deliver the unexpected, and he’s done that here. Hollywood once upon a time made films exploring these kinds of issues, but in today’s climate only a filmmaker like Eastwood, determined to never do the same thing twice, would have the nerve and the clout to take it on.
“Hereafter” cuts back and forth among three stories in an increasingly gripping way. Especially involving as always is Damon, convincing as an everyman torn by the kinds of conflicts few people have to deal with. Can peace be made between the here and the hereafter? It’s a question that can’t be answered, but few directors have the ability to explore the possibilities as gracefully as this singular filmmaker approaching in his 80th year.
Anche lo script di Peter Morgan, molto lontano dalla realtà storica e politica, oggetto dei suoi copioni più famosi, è apprezzabile:
“Hereafter” was also a departure for screenwriter Peter Morgan, best known for fact-based stories like “Frost/Nixon” and “The Queen.” He apparently wrote the script after the death of a friend and, because it was so out of the ordinary for him, put it away for years.
Morgan’s script turns out to be a fine match for Eastwood’s fluid, unassuming directing style. His direct, unadorned approach pares everything down to its essence, the better to express the core of the narrative in the most direct and effective way possible. This is quiet but potent filmmaking that believes nothing is more important than the story it has to tell.
Tony Scott sul New York Times rincara la dose di complimenti:
One of the reasons that “Hereafter” works as well as it does — it has the power to haunt the skeptical, to mystify the credulous and to fascinate everyone in between — may be that its subject matter is so clearly alien to the sensibilities of its makers. Communication with the dead is a risky business, principally because once the door to the beyond opens a tiny crack, all kinds of maudlin nonsense come rushing in.
But one of Mr. Eastwood’s great and undersung strengths as a director is his ability to wade into swamps of sentimental hokum and come out perfectly dry.
…there is an austerity in “Hereafter” that keeps the melodramatic possibilities latent in the script safely at bay. Mr. Eastwood’s stripped-down, highly efficient approach to storytelling serves as an anchor to the busy narrative and the complicated visuals, and perhaps the most gratifying thing about “Hereafter” is its patience.
Scott chiude la sua recensione così ed assegna il Critic’s Pick a Hereafter:
What gives “Hereafter” its strange, unsettling mood and its curious momentum is the growing tension between this relatively happy state and the sense, shared by Marie, Marcus and George, that what comes next lies at once close at hand and beyond the reach of any organized system of beliefs.
What does seem new — newly strange, newly beautiful — is what “Hereafter” makes of the here and now. It is a curious movie in both senses of the word: an unusual experience and an open-ended inquiry into something nobody can really claim to understand. It leaves you wondering, which may be the most fitting way of saying that it’s wonderful.
Noi eastwoodiani di ferro, qui a Stanze di Cinema, non avevamo dubbi…
In Italia dal 5 gennaio 2011.