Monday, February 2, 2009

Gran Torino - Movie Review

GRAN TORINO (****) - Starring Clint Eastwood, Ahney Her and Bee Vang.
Directed by Clint Eastwood.

Man, I love Clint. He's been all about deconstruction lately. Here he deconstructs the tough guy. He may be playing a man named Walter Kowalski, but this could be what Dirty Harry would be like at 78, assuming he just became more racist as he got older.

This movie is more about the human drama than the trailer may show. Yes, the danger of gang violence lingers on the edge, and eventually there must be a showdown, but it's more about an old man stuck in his ways finally letting his grinchy heart grow as he gets to know the "gooks" next door.

You could say it's like About Schmidt in many ways. Schmidt was a mid-level man his whole life, and now retired and suddenly widowed, he doesn't know what to do with himself. Walter is in a similar boat. He's tough and grizzled, and after his wife dies no one knows how to relate to him. You can tell his never-seen wife was his buffer to people and sociability and all that crap. It's funny to watch Clint squint and grunt an old-man grunt whenever someone steps on his lawn.

What do you know. Another movie more worthy of a Best Picture nod than The Reader or Frost/Nixon.

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