The 15:17 to Paris

I never expected to be reminded of French master Eric Rohmer while watching a film by Clint Eastwood, but The 15:17 to Paris shows that the 87-year-old director is still capable of surprises. In the middle section of Paris, three young men knock around Europe, flirt with attractive women, and muse on the nature of fate—things one would typically find Rohmer’s characters doing. Moreover, Eastwood’s direction of these scenes is relaxed and affectionate (they may be the most laid-back he’s shot since Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in 1997). The director clearly enjoys watching these characters bask in the liberty of early adulthood and investigate the world around them. Like Rohmer, who returned to the theme of youth in such later films as A Summer’s Tale (1996) and The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (2007), Eastwood suggests that the characters’ behavior is timeless, reflecting attitudes that young people have always had. Continue reading>>