Gran Torino (2008)
Gran Torino is supposed to be the last acting role in the magnificent career of actor/director, Clint Eastwood. I heard in an interview Clint did a couple of weeks ago that Hollywood doesn’t have substantial roles for guys his age, 78. This is a juicy role for Clint since he last acting gig in Million Dollar Baby four years ago.
Clint plays Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran who recently lost his wife. He struggles to find his way to an everchanging world. He is a old-fashioned guy that has traditional values about chivalry, race, and life in general. He lived in the same house for over forty years. He has the beat up Ford pickup, a reel mower and the prejudices that he held on to after he came back from war.
His two grown sons, Mitch and Steve (Brian Haley, Brian Howe), tries to usher him into the winter of his life. Walt still thinks that he is a young whippersnapper.
One night, he hears a noise in his garage. He takes his rifle and invistages to find somebody trying to steal his hunter green 1972 Gran Torino. It turns about to be the next door neighbor, Thao (Bee Vang), trying to fit in with his gangmember cousin and his crew.
In another confrontation between the Lor family and the gang, Walt utters the famous line from the trailer, “Get off my lawn.” In sets off a chain of events that leads to an inevitable conclusion.
There is a culture clash between Walt and the Lor family. Very traditional people that are very set in their ways. Walt’s cold heart begins to thaw when he befriends Thao’s sister, Sue (Ahney Her) and tries to teach Thao how to be a man.
I have noticed this in the last couple of movies that Clint had directed. There is an undercurrent of Catholic subtext in his movies. In this movie, he clashes with Father Janovich (Christopher Carley) over him not going into confessional. Arguing over the dynamics of life and death. In “Million Dollar Baby”, he was wrestling his relationship with his estranged daughter. There is also, some symbolism with “Mystic River” with Sean Penn’s character praying for forgiveness with his actions towards his friend.
I quite enjoyed this movie. Clint Eastwood being a racist is hilarious to me. I love the banter between Walt and the barber, Martin (John Carroll Lynch) and Tim Kennedy (William Hill).
Lastly, Clint’s son, Scott, plays a small role as Sue love interest in one scene, Trey.
My rating: ***1/2 stars.
Posted on December 16, 2008, in 2008, Crime, Drama, Top 250 of All Time in IMDB and tagged Ahney Her, Bee Vang, Brian Haley, Brian Howe, Christopher Carley, Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino, John Carroll Lynch. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.