Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gran Torino

Note to self: do not move to Michighan. Interesting to see violent hate played out in a formally affluent city of car production in the movie Gran Torino. It is absolutely painful to see the kind of hate in a place where people used to be able to afford to raise a family. Highland Park is the new Compton. We saw this movie a few months ago, again on the recommendation of Stagg's parents. They liked the realistic portrayal by Clint Eastwood and the unusual creation of a new family. Clint Eastwood is a man who needs a new family. His family is totally repulsive and I almost couldn't believe there might really be people like these in the world. Except...my dads wife was just like Eastwoods kids....same kind of sense of entitlement. My fathers wife was such a creep she was just like this family with the same delusion that they know what is best for others: she spoke to my grandparents the same way as Eastwoods kids speak to him. Ugh. The whole family is selfish, dead boring and assholes. But Eastwood is the head honcho of creep. It's very difficult and interesting to watch him in this movie. He is such a pig...yet some of his values are admirable. He sure deserves the shitty kids he made. And the grandkids are even lame. This family is the reason a place could turn into hell. But...despite Eastwoods dictatorship (what children could survive or grow up to be thoughtful under a dictatorship?) Eastwoods character gets a second chance at family. And this...I found really interesting. I could relate to him teaching his young alienated neighbours some tricks of getting along in the world. I enjoyed and squirmed how he would shit on these kids with racial slurs-the dialogue doesn't sugar-coat this character...but the daughter of this Hmong family dished his attitude right back...but with love and tolerance. She managed to teach Eastwood how to love a family in some remarkable way. There are problems with this movie. I knew it wouldn't get nominated at Oscars because there were some script and plot problems. The acting is not so consistent and sometimes it's even very bad. Clint Eastwoods acting is perfectly good, and like Streep in Doubt he brings the camp, he brings the noise and the noise is opera. Despite the poorer acting of supporting roles, and despite the problems with the script...I recommend this movie. It's part revenge story and part redemption story. It hurts to say that it's flawed. Score: 7/10. Acting: 5/10 (except for Clint, he gets a drama-queen 10/10)

1 comment:

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