Movie Review: GRAN TORINO (2008) – Old Guy Eastwood Does It Again
It seems like every movie that Clint Eastwood does, further solidifies the fact that he’s a total badass. Even if the movie happens to be slow, and kinda boring, as GRAN TORINO is at times.
GRAN TORINO is Eastwood’s umpteenth Directorial film, in which he also stars along with some Asians. What? I’m allowed to be mildly racist wile reviewing this film, because Eastwood himself is. And it’s kinda funny at times.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
To be fair, old people can get away with wildly offensive racist slurs a lot easier than your typical 20-something. GRAN TORINO is a story about such an old guy. Eastwood plays Walt, a retired old man, who just recently lost his wife and now has to cope with learning to live with himself… when almost everyone in his life has left him in one way or another.
Very much set in his ways, Walt refuses to accept any help from anyone, including his adult sons who have families of their own and can’t give two shits about their own father. Walt’s refusal goes to the extent of staying in his old house, in a neighborhood filled with Asian Immigrants. On a chance encounter with his Immigrant neighbors, Walt ends up finding some companionship and regaining some much needed human contact.
It doesn’t really need to be said that Eastwood is a boss, when it comes to Directing films. In GRAN TORINO, I’m more in awe of the fact that as a Director, he portrays himself in such a frail and pathetic light, than the actual job he does as an actor. But the performance itself is given with such gravitas, that it’s awesome. A film dealing with an old man learning to shed his bitterness of the past, and learn to move on and find something to live and die for… is a unique and difficult film to make interesting. But Eastwood does it with ease.
The interaction that Walt has with his neighbor’s direction-less son Tao is incredibly honest and real. Accidentally saving the kid from some gang members, Walt becomes the reluctant hero of this Immigrant neighborhood, and eventually accepts them as friends and extended family. The transformation of this surly, bitter and racist old man into a fun loving guy is incredibly sweet.
Never expected Clint Eastwood to be able to put a smile on the face of the most avid cinematic cynic. However, GRAN TORINO is handled with such a soft touch, that it never exceeds its tone by going into the dramatic. It’s subtle, its soft, and it stays that way, all the way through to the ending.
No scenes are exaggerated beyond their scope. It’s never too funny, or too slow, or too serious. It’s just right, as Goldilocks would’ve said. The almost all Asian supporting cast does a brilliant job in helping to carry Eastwood’s performance.
GRAN TORINO is probably the ‘softest’ Clint Eastwood film that I’ve seen in a long time. However, it’s still as great the rest of ‘em
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What is your favorite Clint Eastwood role?
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