This was all I was hoping for in the film. Definitely in the top five for the year. Another contender I saw this week, but later to that film.
Clint Eastwood is at the top of his form as an actor and director. Plus composer. What an amazing guy! And he's in his 70s.
He plays a retired man who's just lost his wife and is alienated from his family, church and neighbors. The neighbors are the bain of his existence since the etnic background of the neighborhood has completely changed from Caucasian to Asian. He hates them and doesn't trust them. Walt Kowalski is a bigot, a patriot and a Korean War veteran. In someways he could be my Dad. I understand this fifties kind of man. Think Bud White from LA Confidential as an older man.
Walt built cars for Ford in their heyday of the muscle cars in the 1970s. He assembled the Gran Torino that sits in his driveway in perfect mint condition.
Despite his not wanting anything to do with them, the humanity in Walt comes out when he gets drawn into the lives of the teenaged boy and girl who live next door.
I won't give anymore plot away. That's plenty.
See this film. It's exciting, edge of your seat as well as makes you care for the characters and story. Eastwood gets the most out of his young untested cast. I really liked the performance of the sister, Sue, played by Ahney Her and the young parish priest, Father Janovich, played by Christopher Carley.
But, then Eastwood knows how to work with actors to get the best they can give. Think of Tim Robbins, Sean Penn and Marcia Gay Harden in Mystic River. Angelina Jolie in Changeling, Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby. And the example I always use, Kevin Costner. Yep, Kevin Costner. Not exactly the best actor in film, but if you ever saw him in Eastwood's A Perfect World, he was wonderful as Butch.
Gran Torino gets and A. This is a top notch film. See it! Make my day...okay, I couldn't resist.