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Author Topic: Changeling & Gran Torino 10 Year Anniversaries  (Read 140 times)
Jed Cooper
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« on: August 05, 2018, 06:28:44 PM »


Wow, ten years since the release of these films have gone by already.  I remember hearing the news of production beginning on Changeling.  I had yet to get used to the fact that Eastwood’s starring roles were coming to an end.  Since then, I’ve been able to “improvise, overcome and adapt.”

Four years had passed since Million Dollar Baby and I wasn’t impressed with what Clint had released in the intervening years. 

I wasn’t very impressed with Changeling, either.  That disappointment wouldn’t last long, thankfully, upon the release of Gran Torino.  Hell, the mere mention of another Eastwood starring role made up for everything! 

Gran Torino is a favorite and one of Eastwood’s all time best, successful films.  What a pleasure and relief to see it when it came out!  A friend opined that it seemed like a lot of characters Clint had portrayed were summed up into Walt Kowalski.  I agree with him and that’s one of the things that makes this movie so enjoyable and entertaining.






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Hocine
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2018, 12:45:35 PM »

Changeling and Gran Torino are two pretty good movies.

Changeling was selected at Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
This year, Sean Penn was the president of jury. Finally, it didn't win the golden palm.
It's by far the best performance of Angelina Jolie. In this one, the main character is a woman and it's not so usual in Clint Eastwood movies.
However, you have some actresses who played women who were important in the story like Jessica Walter in Play Misty for Me, Kay Lenz in Breezy, Sondra Locke in The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact, Genevieve Bujold in Tightrope, Diane Venora in Bird, Frances Fisher in Unforgiven, Meryl Streep in The Bridges of Madison County, Marcia Gay Harden in Mystic River, Hillary Swank in Million Dollar Baby and Cécile de France in Hereafter.
But the cinema of Clint Eastwood remains a man's world: Gran Torino is a good example.

Gran Torino was shot in the summer 2008 after Cannes Film Festival. It was supposed to be a small picture, and in many ways, it was a small picture.
But it wasn't supposed to overshadow Changeling, which seemed to be more ambitious. And this is what happened exactly.
Like Letters from Iwo Jima overshadowed Flags of Our Fathers at the Oscars 2007.
Gran Torino is simple and essential at the same time.
Changeling is good too and I really enjoyed it but it's maybe too complicated or sophisticated.
Gran Torino is closer to Million Dollar Baby. Clint said that Walt Kowalski is close to Frankie Dunn and Tom Highway from Heartbreak Ridge.
Walt Kowalski is like the other side of Frankie Dunn. As Red Stovall is the other side of Bronco Billy.
Many people thought Clint would get an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Walt Kowalski.
Finally, he didn't. But instead, he got great reviews and a box office hit. I like Gran Torino.
It reminds Dirty Harry to many people. But Clint said that Harry Callahan wouldn't react like Walt reacted in this situation.
He said that he would react quickly in a different way.
Gran Torino reminds me Honkytonk Man. Mostly, because of the tragic destiny of the main character.
Of course, Gran Torino can be seen like a tribute to Clint acting career. Or his acting swan song.
But The Mule is upcoming.
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Perry
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2018, 01:13:57 PM »



    Changeling would had been a better movie with a better actress. Jolie was miscast. The movie was about 20 minutes too long. Gran Torino after TOJW is Eastwood's best movie he ever directed which starred himself.
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Hocine
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2018, 12:07:09 PM »


    Changeling would had been a better movie with a better actress. Jolie was miscast. The movie was about 20 minutes too long. Gran Torino after TOJW is Eastwood's best movie he ever directed which starred himself.

Actually, many people thought that Angelina Jolie was too beautiful to portray Christine Collins, who was supposed to be sad and miserable.
Against all odds, she was convincing enough and was even nominated at the Oscars 2009.
Finally, Kate Winslet won for The Reader.

I agree with you: Gran Torino is definitely one of the best movies in which Clint Eastwood directed himself.
As I said previously, Gran Torino is thematically close to Million Dollar Baby.
The main difference is that Million Dollar Baby has three great acting performances, which make it more powerful than Gran Torino, in my opinion.
But I can't choose only one or two movies because he made so many great movies I really enjoy.

In chronological order, I think that the best movies in which he directed himself are:
Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, Pale Rider, White Hunter Black Heart, Unforgiven,
A Perfect World (even if Kevin Costner is the lead actor), The Bridges of Madison County,Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino.

Even they are not taken too seriously and are sometimes considered as his worst films, I like The Eiger Sanction, The Gauntlet,
Firefox (probably the most boring), Sudden Impact, Heartbreak Ridge, The Rookie, Absolute Power, True Crime, Space Cowboys and Blood Work because they have something to say about Clint Eastwood's screen persona. And of course, most of them are really entertaining.
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AKA23
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2018, 06:35:18 PM »

I think "Changeling" is actually underrated. It was one of the few films that I saw during the Eastwood challenge that my initial opinion of improved after rewatching it. I thought Jolie did a good job with the role, but I see what you mean, Perry. Not only was she gorgeous, but I don't think she was as convincing as she could have been in the role because Christine Collins is a very vulnerable character, and Angelina Jolie typically plays very strong female characters. I had a little bit of a hard time believing that she would have allowed someone that she knew was not her son to be passed off as her son for as long as she did and even when she pushed back, it was not that forceful. Angelina Jolie, both in her personal life as well as in the roles that she portrays onscreen, is usually larger than life, and Christine Collins personality was the polar opposite of that. I think someone like Hillary Swank might have been a better choice for the role. She can also portray strong female characters (Million Dollar Baby), but she has a vulnerability on screen that I think would have made her better embody Christine Collins.   
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AKA23
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2018, 06:37:16 PM »


Gran Torino after TOJW is Eastwood's best movie he ever directed which starred himself.

Perry, I love "Gran Torino" as well, but this is a pretty bold statement. What is it about "Gran Torino" that makes you feel it is the second best movie he has ever directed in which he appears? What is it that "Gran Torino" has that the others lack for you?
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Christopher
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 08:54:56 AM »

I'd have to say I prefer Changeling to Gran Torino. Of course the two movies aren't alike in any way really, but in terms of Eastwood movies, I hold Changeling up higher. It's just such a disturbing and engaging story.
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Perry
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 01:00:02 PM »



I said it once before AKA23 in that G.T. was like a 'B' movie. It was a simple story and the fact it had mostly non actors that did a credible job. To me it was the closest movie Eastwood ever directed in Don Siegel's style. I don't think it's a bold statement.
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AKA23
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 02:45:42 PM »

I'd have to say I prefer Changeling to Gran Torino. Of course the two movies aren't alike in any way really, but in terms of Eastwood movies, I hold Changeling up higher. It's just such a disturbing and engaging story.

This is surprising to me. Does anyone else feel this way as well? Christopher, what did "Changeling" have that you felt "Gran Torino" lacked? I agree that it did have an interesting story.
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