Charles Dharapak, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Clint Eastwood's little skit reminded me of Jimmy Stewart's endearing portrayal of Willy Kreuger in "Mr. Kreuger's Christmas." Kreuger is a lonely custodian on Christmas Eve who falls asleep and dreams that he is leading the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a medley of Christmas songs. When he wakes up he is greeted by some real Christmas carolers who invite him to join in.
He ends up giving a little baby Jesus figure from his nativity set to a little girl who is caroling with the group. This brings great joy to the little girl. He ends up feeling a deep and powerful spirit of Christmas. It is one of my favorite Christmas shows.
Both Eastwood and Stewart showed a tremendous mastery of age-related vulnerability combined with intentional or unintentional age-related stammering and use of imaginary experience to touch hearts (of those who have hearts) and to drive home a powerful message.
I view both portrayals as being courageously controversial because of the fact that both Stewart and Eastwood as Hollywood legends chose to take sides for an issue which transcends mere acting.
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