The Mule

Last week saw the release of two rather cynical American films, Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux and Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. The first addresses our culture’s acclimation to random violence, while the second considers our nation’s losing war on drugs. Neither film proposes solutions to the issues they raise, suggesting fatalistically that we’re simply stuck with them. But where Vox Lux raises a sense of alarm over this conclusion, The Mule—a more complex and ultimately more provocative work—is disarmingly upbeat. Eastwood, directing a script by Nick Schenk, suggests that the country’s social ills haven’t fundamentally altered the American character; the people the movie depicts are still capable of being nice to one another and even doing good in spite of the dark cultural climate they inhabit. Continue reading>>