Clint Eastwood is the latest recipient of generous tax breaks to make a movie. In a feature today on the Academy Award winning director, the New York Times notes that:
[T]he setting of "Gran Torino" was shifted from Minneapolis to Detroit, the original home of Ford and, not coincidentally, the home of 42 percent tax credits for films made there. (That helped make it easy for Warner Brothers to sign off on bankrolling the movie, something that hasn’t always been a given in the studio’s relationship with the director.)
Not only does Clint have a good fiscal grasp of movie making -- in addition to relocating for tax benefits, he is famous for shooting his films quickly, which helps control costs -- he also seems to have impeccable timing with "Gran Torino."
The title of his just released film is indeed the Ford muscle car, a '72 model to be precise. And Clint portrays the vehicle's owner, a retired autoworker.
The current financial problems of Ford and the other U.S. car makers aren't part of the script, but the attention to the industry sure won't hurt to the film … as if an Eastwood film ever needs any help getting publicity.
You can read more on Michigan's movie tax break here.
Double feature: Also in the Sunday New York Times. film critic A.O. Scott looks at the dark undercurrents of "It's a Wonderful Life."
Scott is right; the classic film isn't all sweetness and light. There is a lot of unhappiness and disappointment. But that George Bailey and his family and friends in Bedford Falls are able to work through it to find contentment is what makes the movie so enduring.
George's life reflects the struggles we all face, some of us more than others. And his happy ending gives up hope that we, too, will eventually find the joy in our situations.
That's why "It's a Wonderful Life" is one of my favorite movies, and one that provided me with a great money lesson.