Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gran Torino

Wanna see a great scowl? Go see Gran Torino. It opens at Walt Kowalski's (Clint Eastwood) wife's funeral, and he just stand there and scowls at everyone there..... his family, well-wishers, and the young priest at the service. About 2 seconds into the film you know that this is not a guy who is easy to get along with.

Walt goes from scowling to adopting the Hmong family next door, and the film, though generally grim and tense, also has some genuinely funny parts. When Walt decides he has to "man-up" his young neighbor, the effort turns out to be quite funny, without feeling strained.

The ending of this excellent film is both tense and surprising. I imagine conservative old farts who think today's kids aren't worth the water contained in their bodies will enjoy it, but it will not be limited to them. And if you've seen the ads that make it look like "Dirty Harry the Angry Old Man", well that isn't too far off. Another interesting effort from Clint Eastwood. And I believe that is him singing over the closing credits!

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