Thursday, September 24, 2009


What can a priest – an over-educated, 27-year-old virgin who holds the hands of superstitious old women promising them eternity – have to tell an 80-year-old Korean War veteran about life and death?

Not much if you ask Walk Kowalski: a widower who is completely disconnected from the lives of his two sons; a man who really doesn't like anyone, regardless of race; a man who is alone and miserable and who knows plenty about death but little about life.

That is, until he finds a Hmong teen trying to boost his precious Gran Torino (which is the title of the film.) What Walt finds out, sadly, is that he has more in common with this immigrant family than he does his own boys. But he makes the best of it and finds value in life when he befriends the teen and helps his stay away from the Hmong gang trying to initiate him. The boy becomes a friend and Walt tells him so, just as he walks away from the boy forever.

Clint Eastwood can put a movie together and he is not afraid to take his time developing a character, a story, a robust narrative that the movie-goer can reflect upon and find common ground with. It was a beautiful but sad film.

My only complaint is that Eastwood, for some unknown reason, chose to sing the ending song himself. There ain't no way Walt would have ever done that and it really spoiled the ending for me.

GRAN TORINO is highly recommended. Note, that is uses all kinds of curse words and racial slurs.

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