CLINT EASTWOOD’S “Invictus” has given Morgan Freeman, a 72-year-old ever-rising cinematic star from Memphis, Tennessee, his best chance yet to show what a canny actor he is. The year is 1995, just 14 months after South Africa’s first multiracial elections. Nelson Mandela wants to use the rugby World Cup, for white South Africans the absolute pinnacle of sport, to prevent the veneer of social unity from being rent asunder. Mr Freeman plays Mandela as a man both burdened and blessed by having become a living icon after years of political struggle, many of them spent as the world’s most famous political prisoner. But the newly elected President Mandela is determined to make use of his image rather than letting it use him, and no director could understand this better than Mr Eastwood, who has always kept ahead of his audience by ringing unexpected changes on his own star persona. The confluence of these three wily men—Mr Freeman, Mr Eastwood and Mr Mandela—has given birth to a perfect storm of a character study.