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Author Topic: GRAN TORINO: Reviews and Features in the Media  (Read 129185 times)
higashimori
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« Reply #220 on: March 07, 2009, 04:53:23 PM »

 :)  " Extra, extra: Clio area couple seen on screen with Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino "

[WARNING: "SPOILER" IN THE STORY LINKED TO BELOW]

         http://www.mlive.com/clio/index.ssf/2009/03/extra_extra_clio_area_couple_s.html

       
Quote
VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Michigan -- Memo to Hollywood: Tom Stratman didn't quite use up his 15 seconds of fame. 
The 62-year-old Vienna Township resident has some "extra" time, in a manner of speaking.

Along with his wife, Sharon, Stratman garnered some degree of local celebrity after being seen on screen in the critically acclaimed film "Gran Torino" -- starring Clint Eastwood, who also wrote and directed the film.

Rubbing elbows with the screen legend, if only as an $85-per-day extra, made his day.

"Clint couldn't remember his lines to save his butt," joked Stratman, who said that Eastwood greeted everyone in the morning -- extras and all. "But, he was the director and producer, so probably wasn't studying his lines much.

"I think I knew his lines better than he did by the time it was done -- there were a lot of takes."

Stratman's niece Jessica Judd, who works in the business as a screenwriter, and her husband, Mike, an associate director, encouraged him to take part in the Detroit-based production.

"They told me that this was the first film they've seen where everyone was the same," said Stratman, who has already seen the film three times. "Clint ate lunch with us, dinner with us, in the same room. ... They said that they had never seen that before. They were right there with us."

Stratman, an Eastwood fan all his life, said he could look Dirty Harry right in the eyes -- Eastwood wasn't as tall as he had imagined.

But, he was all gentleman.
Quote
"It was fantastic. I have never seen so many cords, cameras, and lighting. I had no idea what they go through to make movies," she said.

Sharon is, however, certain about two things: "Gran Torino" was hosed out of an Oscar, and Eastwood is a real stud.

"I loved the movie, and I can't believe it didn't win an Academy Award," she said. "I missed myself totally the first time I saw it because I was so engrossed in it.

"(Eastwood) looks fantastic. He's in really good shape. He's so down-to-earth. I would do it again in a minute."
 
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« Reply #221 on: March 08, 2009, 07:51:24 PM »

I'm sorry about the "spoiler" I thoughtlessly posted, everyone. I've removed my post and the others commenting on it.  :-[

The quote Higashimori posted above is "safe," but don't click the link and read the whole story if you haven't yet seen the film and want to avoid "spoilers."  :o
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The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #222 on: March 13, 2009, 02:22:42 PM »

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001196.html?categoryid=19&cs=1

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Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" placed No. 3, cuming a handy $11.6 million, and beating "Watchmen" in Spain and France. Eastwood is sometimes even more popular overseas than in the U.S. -- "Changeling" and "Letters From Iwo Jima" grossed more abroad than at home.

"Torino" enjoyed the best bow for an Eastwood-helmed feature ever in Gaul, and was only off 21% in its second frame. In its first 10 days, pic has grossed $10.9 million in France.

Based on film's initial results overseas, Warners is already predicting that "Torino" will become Eastwood's highest grossing pic at the international box office, eclipsing the $127 million international total for "Million Dollar Baby."

Bookers in Spain had upbeat expectations for "Torino," but no one foresaw the level of business. "Torino" grossed $2.7 million off a moderate print count of 235. Per-location average of $11,421 was the best of any film since "Hancock's" $12,231 in July 2008.

"A key factor was the announcement by Eastwood that this was his last performance in a movie," one distrib noted.
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« Reply #223 on: March 13, 2009, 03:33:07 PM »

$138 million in the U.S. now! Pretty good. I hadn't checked in a while.

Thru Thursday March 12 Gran Torino is over $142million in the U.S. and at number 9 on the box office list!  And the current foreign box office is currently at $33million.

I don't know the numbers but I can't think of a single actor near Clint's age who was the main star of a movie to have this kind of audience/box office.  Pretty amazing. (but it doesn't surprise most of us in this forum)  ;)

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/daily/chart/
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higashimori
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« Reply #224 on: March 17, 2009, 04:11:48 AM »

 :)  " The Money of Movies "

        http://www.backstage.com/bso/advice-columns/business-of-acting/business-of-acting/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003951917&imw=Y

       
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By Jeff B. Cohen, Esq.
Friday the 13th grosses $43.6 million in its opening weekend, the most ever for a slasher pic! Gran Torino grosses $29 million to win the weekend and become Clint Eastwood's biggest nationwide opening of all time! What does this really mean? How does a film make money? It's important to understand thoroughly the economics of your profession, so let's take a look. Films are commonly distributed in the following ways: theatrical release, nontheatrical release, DVD and videocassette, Internet, video on demand, pay television, and free television. In addition, income is often generated from merchandise related to the movie and the release of a soundtrack CD.

 
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« Reply #225 on: March 20, 2009, 01:11:29 PM »

Gran Torino opens here today in the southeast region. I'll have to wait a little more, as always >:(

I made the translation of this review and I confess sometimes myself can't understand well what the reviewer is saying...if anyone has doubts about some parts, please ask me. 

Now, I understand a little why some people here say that they cry at the ending.

Quote
It seems a joke to say that Gran Torino isn't a project that came from Clint Eastwood's mind, who says he has kept all the structure of the script written by the beginner Nick Schenk. The distribution of the themes, the relation of Walt Kowalski with the community where he lives and his notions of values and of the world, the impressive comprehension of the classicist model of movies _ which the director still is one of a few remaining _, everything seems have been methodically planned by him like a specie of meeting point of big part of the elements that in those 40 years of career made part of his cinematographic universe.

There are a whirlwind of themes being discussed in a little less than 2 hours of movie, in a exemplar model of reconstituition of values worked in movies, of classic directors like John Ford and especially Samuel Fuller. Eastwood goes step by step dismembering the influences from one and another as a way of finding a perfect balance of his own moviemaking, impersonating in some moments, an intense morale of adjusting debts to himself. The concept of community and memories of Ford, are the basis to the construction of that situation, which, as it goes closing the circle, it turns into a "fullerian" battlefield, especially because of the insignificance of the relations between the ethnic groups _ made for gangs and closed groups.

But Gran Torino is all constructed above a specific sign: Clint Eastwood body. Often filmed in stylized close-ups and shots that evidence the passage of the years to Kowalski _ and also to the actor _ ,with no reservations, Clint's face brings in its wrinkles an always impressive and overwhelming dramatic depth. For all the violence scenes effectively showed througout the movie, the real toughness in Gran Torino is in Eastwood eyes, in his mannerisms and in the way he deals with extremely delicate situations _ always defined by the trauma of someone who had to deal with violence and ended up having his vision of the world reavaliated by it.

It can be found out there some strong complaints about two aspects of Gran Torino: the amount of cliches of the script and the actors that work directly with Clint in the "key" moments of the movie. About the actors, I consider unfair, since as Cory Hardrict as all the others, held the task very well.

The ending is the definitive desconstruction of his mythologic figure, as well the mytho of "hero". We could say that it is a planned ending for what until today we understand by "Eastwoodian", the fact of his next movie is a biography of Mandela, give us freedom to suppose something like that but it still too early to be sure. Anyway, it's known that Eastwood has decided close his career as an actor with this character, which it seems to me a very right decision _ it's amazing how knowing this leave the final moments an even bitter taste.

Finally, is almost impossible hold the tears when you start listening Clint's voice performing the song theme, while the final credits shows up on the screen. The ultimate Eastwood movie.

Original in Portuguese:

http://www.cineplayers.com/critica.php?id=1564

I consider that last paragraph a little spoiler...I didn't know Clint sings at the ending and I'd like have discovered that by myself, at the right time >:(

More reviews to come.
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« Reply #226 on: March 20, 2009, 07:49:52 PM »

Don't worry about the singing ... it's just a "voiceover," so it doesn't tell you anything about the story.  :)

It's a nice review. After reading your translation, I stumbled through the whole thing in Portuguese and didn't have much trouble following it.
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #227 on: March 21, 2009, 03:28:18 AM »

One of the more unsual review of Gran Torino

Den of Geek link

James Clayton Column: why Clint Eastwood should be the next Hulk
James Clayton

Clint Eastwood should be The Incredible Hulk. You might dismiss the idea at first, but as James reasons, it soon begins to make sense...
Published on Mar 19, 2009

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If Marvel Comics are looking to relaunch The Incredible Hulk franchise for film, I’d urge them to cast Clint Eastwood as the big green one. It may not seem sensible to base a series reboot around a 78-year-old man who’s more eager to concentrate on directing rather than acting again, but look to Eastwood’s latest masterpiece Gran Torino and you’ll see that Eastwood is perfect for the part. ...

Having failed to kick-start a franchise with both the Ang Lee’s 2003 effort Hulk (with Eric Bana playing Bruce Banner) and Louis Letterier’s The Incredible Hulk (with Ed Norton in the title role), giving Eastwood a run at the comic legend could prove fruitful. The screen legend could not only portray the strain of the eponymous hero but would also no doubt make an excellent choice of director, delivering a bold film that powerfully conveys the rugged individualism of an alienated masculine hero who serves an American society that’s nevertheless indifferent to him. ...

Superhuman in his continued stamina, his filmmaking and his physical performance then, it’s a pleasure to see all aspects apparently undiminished in Gran Torino. And the film isn’t just enjoyable as a potent and thought-provoking story but also great fun as Clint concocts a movie with great comedy and scenes of cathartic violence and conflict that put a fair few so-called ‘action’ movies from recent times to shame. With this kind of awareness and such ability at skilfully balancing brains and brawn, something in the region of The Incredible Hulk or Superman would, I’d say, really benefit from Eastwood’s involvement. ...
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #228 on: March 21, 2009, 03:39:45 AM »

Palm Beach Post link

Kinder, gentler school bullies

By Jac Wilder VerSteeg

Palm Beach Post Deputy Editor of the Editorial Page

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quote
If you're making a Hollywood movie and want to please the audience, beat up a bully.

Clint Eastwood has made a whole career out this rule. Dirty Harry was a no-nonsense bully beater-upper. Clint's more subtle in Gran Torino, but he's still giving bullies their comeuppance.

The School District of Palm Beach County emphatically does not endorse the Hollywood script.

Imagine you're a teacher walking across a middle school campus. You see one kid slam another against the lockers. What should you do?

If you follow the Hollywood script, you grab the offender by the scruff of the neck and growl: "Do you want to try that again? Go ahead, make my day."

Then the gruff teacher would give the bullied kid boxing lessons and, in the movie's big payoff scene, the former victim would beat the living hell out of the bully.

But that's not the script at Palm Beach County schools. ...
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higashimori
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« Reply #229 on: March 21, 2009, 05:48:19 AM »

 :)   "  Eastwood intraitable ! "

          http://www.allocine.fr/article/fichearticle_gen_carticle=18452858&nopub=1.html


     
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Box-office
Business - Vendredi 20 Mars 2009

Le "Gran Torino" de Clint Eastwood reste en tête du box-office français pour la troisième semaine consécutive avec plus de 400 000 nouvelles entrées et un total proche des 2 millions de spectateurs. Impressionnant. 

     Film                               Entrées                 Culmul

1. Gran Torino                    407 388             1 929 478

4. Marley & moi                  183 238                541 215
5. Slumdog Millionaire        178 614             1 900 197
6. Watchmen                     167 524                544 759
7. Harvey Milk                    133 966                369 212
 
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« Reply #230 on: March 21, 2009, 06:52:13 AM »

 :) "Melodrama that resembles Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino is a genuine model of the simple, honest and moving cinema that Eastwood has presented the audience in 40 years of movie-making"

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The name of the movie suggests a kind of lenghty film based on electronic games of car races. Who imagine that isn't so wrong since Gran Torino is in fact, a legendary car model from Ford that was a hit in the 70's and until today is worshipped by old cars collectors. But the function of the car inside the Clint melodrama, has nothing to do with roads. It works as a double visual metaphor. Inside the fictional world, it is the object that defines Walt Kowalski personality, a bitter veteran who hates the world and is the main character of the story. In real life, the car joins qualities that personify his own actor/director career - classic, efficient, strong, dynamical - and defines very well the movie itsef.

It's worth reminding, one more time, the surprising trajectory of Eastwood, an average actor of westerns and violent cop movies that started as director in the 70's and built a solid and diversified work like a very few artists of his generation. It has been about two decades, Clint has made movies with a impressive quickness (sometimes even two by year, as happened in 2008 when the star turned 78 years old), almost always good quality movies, some of them true master-pieces. Besides, any other moviemaker has re-evaluated critically the own career - and why not, the own life - with the same serenity than him. Gran Torino is a genuine model of the simple, honest and moving cinema that Eastwood has presented the audience in 40 years of movie-making.

Gran Torino shows several themes from the late Clint work. Attentive fans will notice big similarity with the Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby(2004). Both movies have as central axle an unwonted friendship relation between a hopeless old man played by the director himself, and another young one, not understood by his family. However, in Gran Torino there is a inversion of roles. In this one, the main lead is the older character not the young one, as happened in Million Dollar Baby. Eastwood character is basically a variation of the boxer trainer: an out of date, lonely, misogyn person that built a barrier between himself and the world - a barrier runned down by the most improbable character (in this case an asian descendant) with who he constructs a genuine father/son relationship and which he uses as a way to set up things of his past.

The car is the element that approaches him to the family of asian immigrants that live in the house next to him (the fact Kowalski has fought in the Korea war isn't mere coincidence, of course) The movie-maker introduces a lament so in target about the lack of perspective of the youth nowadays, and broachs, one more time, the family issues that left marks in his own history and opens generous space to those actors stand out with natural and interesting performances - not only Bee Vang and Ahney Her, as well the supporting ones, as Christopher Carley (the young priest) and John Carroll Lynch. The ending isn't one of the best since it's possible anticipate with some facility what is going to happen - the beginning of the third part and the big similarity with Million Dollar Baby impede the movie from becoming one more master-piece in Eastwood career.

For all that, the movie has the legitimate trademark that has marked the spetacular career of this legend of the North-American cinema.

http://www.cinereporter.com.br/criticas/gran-torino/
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #231 on: March 21, 2009, 08:56:35 AM »

SUCCESS Magazine link

Unlikely Hero
Clint Eastwood Plays the Mentor
Sandra  Bienkowski  March 20, 2009 

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Clint Eastwood is famous for playing outlaws, rogue cops, crusty characters. But the actor’s influence transcends his iconic movie roles through work as a producer, Academy Award-winning director, and in the late 1980s as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.

As a director, Eastwood is viewed as a mentor by many. First-time actor Bee Vang, who plays an Asian immigrant teen in Gran Torino, says he found Eastwood patient and low-key—nothing like the intimidating character he’d grown up watching in Westerns. “I loved every minute working with him,” Vang says. “The whole thing was really life-changing.”

Eastwood, 78, says he likes casting unknown actors when possible. “I do like to give people a break. I like to see new people come along and have opportunities.” He also likes to share his insights to help others, especially students.

“Older people have a lot to contribute. You just never know what you have to offer until you start offering it,” he told interviewers with a Harvard University mentoring project. “What I think the mentor gets is the great satisfaction of helping somebody along, helping somebody take advantage of an opportunity that maybe he or she did not have.”

In his own life, Eastwood credits many mentors, including his maternal grandmother. “She was always encouraging. She always thought I was going to be something when nobody else, including myself, thought I was going to amount to anything.”
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« Reply #232 on: March 21, 2009, 09:30:42 AM »

:) "Melodrama that resembles Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino is a genuine model of the simple, honest and moving cinema that Eastwood has presented the audience in 40 years of movie-making"

http://www.cinereporter.com.br/criticas/gran-torino/

Thanks for the link and the translation, Aline!

This part needs no translation:

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NOTA DO EDITOR:

;)
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Dan Dassow
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« Reply #233 on: March 21, 2009, 05:25:30 PM »

The Times (South Africa) link

The comeback kid
Published:Mar 21, 2009
A good script is one way to get Clint Eastwood off the green.
By Glenn Whipp

Quote
It might not have the shelf life of “Go ahead, make my day”, but when Clint Eastwood cocks an M1 rifle and tells a group of gangbangers to “Get off my lawn” in his new film Gran Torino, it is a movie moment about as golden as they come these days. ...

But there’s nothing stereotypical about either Gran Torino or Changeling, which were both nominees at the 2009 Oscars, and he’s currently in South Africa making a sports drama about Nelson Mandela and the South African victory in the Rugby World Cup. ...

Gran Torino opens on March 27.
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« Reply #234 on: March 22, 2009, 03:11:04 AM »

 Mark Kermode  reviews Gran Torino along with Che part2 and Anvil. A bit late but he was on holiday when it was released.

 Anyway, he gives Clint a very good review for acting and direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2ql9RQ84vc


Apologies to any who can't access outside UK - I posted the youtube link instead so hopefully anyone can see it.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2009, 03:12:58 AM by Lucky Punk » Logged
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« Reply #235 on: March 22, 2009, 04:00:44 PM »

According to Rotton Tomatoes - Gran Torino's box office is now at

Domestic = 145,090,000
Foreign = 60,000,000

Total = 205,090,000
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Christopher
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« Reply #236 on: March 23, 2009, 03:03:12 PM »

Over $200 mil worldwide... nice! 8)
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« Reply #237 on: March 28, 2009, 03:59:32 AM »

Channel News Asia link

Clint Eastwood's best work yet
By Melanie Oliveiro, 938LIVE | Posted: 27 March 2009 1008 hrs

SINGAPORE :

Quote
Is Dirty Harry back from retirement and for one last time? It certainly seems the case with Clint Eastwood's latest film “Gran Torino”, in which he directed, produces and stars in. ...

Eastwood shines as a gravely-voiced, cantankerous old coot with many scores to settle. He has all the best lines and one-liners, spitting them out through gritted teeth, eyes filled with hate. He may be unrelentingly racist and misanthropic but buried beneath all that baggage is a man with a heart of pure solid gold.

It's a treat watching him mellow - but only just a tad! - as he opens his mind and heart to the world around him.

The storyline itself is a gripping one, as we journey with a very flawed but strong individual who does whatever he can to protect not just his turf and his own little world, but also the people he cares about. And you'll get a kick watching this snarling old man standing up to punks one-third his age.

“Gran Torino’s” tender side also arises when Eastwood's character puts aside his bigoted ways to bond with, and teach the rules of life to his socially awkward teenage neighbour. The film, Eastwood’s most successful film ever at the US and UK box offices, also introduces many to the rich culture and beliefs of the Hmong community, which adds more depth to this already well-textured film.

If there are but a handful of movies you're able to catch this year, make “Gran Torino” one of your main picks. It's grim, edgy, humbling, and it's unforgettable. It'll make your day.

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« Reply #238 on: March 28, 2009, 08:54:42 AM »

From Screen Daily:

http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyArticle.aspx?intStoryID=43802

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Gran Torino poised to cross $70m internationally with Mexico launch
Jeremy Kay in Los Angeles
26 Mar 2009 20:34

Gran Torino should march on towards the $70m mark this weekend through strong holdover business and a debut in Mexico on March 27 through Warner Bros Pictures International.

Clint Eastwood’s drama has reached $63.9m to date and crossed $210m worldwide and its prospects are looking formidable with roughly two-thirds of international markets yet to open.
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« Reply #239 on: March 30, 2009, 06:50:48 AM »

 :) " Drama: Eastwood undercuts legacy of ‘Dirty Harry’  "

       http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global%5b_id%5d=21207

       
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CLINT Eastwood gets away with it every time. He doesn’t act so that anyone notices; his performance is so weirdly ironic that he comes across as a self-referential cultural joke; his one-liners have their own register on the clunk-scale. And yet it feels like a treat every time.

Grouchy doesn’t begin to describe his character, Walt Kowalski, a relic from an era when Made in America was the gold standard of motoring value and Asians were “gooks” and “swamp-rats”.

If you’re sensitive about racist language, take a happy pill with you, because every sentence is laced with it. Some of it is mean, some of it falls in the category of banter, and ultimately, given the film’s message, it ceases to give offence.

So Walt is a racist, an old-school American who has passed his sell-by date and finds himself marooned in a neighbourhood once white but now mixed Asian, Mexican and African-American. The Gran Torino of the title is a 1972 Ford he keeps in pristine condition, a symbol of the world as it should be, without foreigners, death or decay.

But as much as he tries to stand apart from his neighbours, he gets dragged into a gangland feud involving the local Hmong community, flotsam from the Vietnam war seeking a future in the land of opportunity. Slowly, and implausibly, Walt, who is alienated from his own family, takes the neighbours’ son, Thao (Bee Vang), under his wing. He calls him “Toad” and “pussy” just to show he doesn’t really care, but of course he does.

The pace of the film is at times tediously slow, and that is perhaps the fault of the expectation that everything will erupt in a Dirty Harry climax.

There’s no question that Gran Torino is a giant nod to Eastwood’s iconic character, but the end, when it finally comes, makes a statement that undercuts that legacy and its era. The theme of reconciliation and self-sacrifice takes the place of vengeful self-righteousness that defines the vigilante genre, and of which Eastwood was one of its greatest exponents.

It’s best to define Eastwood as a force of nature. There’s nothing subtle or elegant or neat about him. But there’s a wisdom, and astuteness born of longevity, that carries him as an actor and a director, and allows one to forgive what is rough and awkward. A conclusion much like the film reaches.

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