Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gran Torino

Actor/director Clint Eastwood is only getting better with age. Parts of Gran Torino are vintage Eastwood yet this has more nuance and layers than earlier works. It is a great redemptive movie with themes of racism, friendship and sacrifice. 5 Stars imho.

Eastwood's character, Walt Kowalski, lives next door to a Hmong family. (pronounced "mung") The two main Hmong characters, Thao and Sue, were played by actors with no prior screen credits. They were both very impressive, especially Ahney Her who played Sue.

Weirdness not with the movie...
The first part of the movie is full of racial tension and the awkward intensity of Kowalski's genuine hatred for any ethnicity. What was odd was how much the Kokomo crowd laughed loudly at things that were not funny. It really unsettled me and I leaned over to Slater on two occasions and said, "This isn't funny--they shouldn't be laughing." Later in the film, after some walls come down, some of Kowalski's racial slurs are humorous; but I thought the crowd was inappropriately premature in their early guffaws.

If I had not known it had an R rating, I would have guessed it PG-13 after seeing it. It probably got the R rating the same way Good Will Hunting did; plenty of F-words by gang members.

Official Gran Torino movie site.
IMDb Gran Torino site. This site (IMDb) has lots of good info about content as well as anything else you'd like to know about a movie. I did lots of investigating before deciding to take Slater to this as well as dialogueing with him afterward.

Great movie that will stand the test of time.