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.
Salt Lake City
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