The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

One of Eastwood’s finest. First saw this when I was teenager and enjoyed it then but the added years have really made me appreciate its leisurely tempo even more. Very much Clint’s “people talking in rooms” movie, but the performances are so sensitive and casually nuanced that you’re thankful to spend so much time with them. Both Clint and Meryl really open themselves up here, nailing the budding romance between two older kindred spirits as well as the longing that occurs when they are apart. The beautiful domestic surroundings keep it unfussy stylistically, but there’s just enough going on there to retain a sense of Hollywood craft. This is a film which flutters with butterflies except when it’s beating with heartache. Not sure you need that wrap-around story – a Spielberg suggestion, and a painfully obvious one at that – but this remains Eastwood’s great achievement as a humanist filmmaker. Maybe also his best performance? Not surprised Cahiers voted this the greatest film of the 90s.

Watched on blu-ray

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