Gran Torino (2008, Clint Eastwood Drama) – 8/10 movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Clint Eastwood
Writer (Screenplay): Nick Schenk
Writer (Story): Dave Johannson
Writer (Story): Nick Schenk
Producer: Robert Lorenz
Producer: Bill Gerber
Clint Eastwood: Walt Kowalski

Gran Torino (2008)

Veteran Walt Kowalski isn’t impressed by the de-Americanisation of his neighbourhood and, well, America and contents himself by endlessly hurling racial epithets at everyone who crosses his path. His tolerance is tested when his Hmong neighbour half-heartedly attempts to steal his prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino Fastback as part of a gang initiation but then appears on his doorstep seeking to make amends.

8/10

Whatever screen presence is, Clint Eastwood the actor certainly has it in abundance. While the script definitely does not convince at all times, Eastwood does. He easily hangs on to his audience with permanently gritted teeth and makes Walt Kowalski work. As director, Clint Eastwood has a unique, low-key, unhurried style and, perhaps because of that, his films consistently connect emotionally. That is the certainly the case with Gran Torino. Unexpectedly, it’s rather funny, usually at Walt’s expense as he simply doesn’t understand the rest of the world. The scene where he teaches Thao to "speak like a man" is bafflingly funny. Eastwood’s support cast features some low quality acting but, given Eastwood is reknowned for getting pitch-perfect performances, you have to presume it is deliberate. I think it works surprisingly well as it creates a complete disconnect between Eastwood’s character and his grand-children and neighbours. They are from different worlds; they speak, behave, perceive and act completely differently. As this is scheduled to be Eastwood’s final on-screen appearance, it is a pleasure to say that it is a classic performance in a good film.

This movie contains sexual swear words, racially abusive language and one scene of graphic violence, unpleasant scenes.

 

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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