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A Reel Life film section

Summer 2008-9

Gran Torino (2008) movie review

Curmudgeon with a Heart of Gold

Clint Eastwood puts on his white hat and grabs his gun in his latest showdown movie. But unlike his western heroes or Dirty Harry, Eastwood plays the ultimate hero -- the man who looks at his own values squarely in the face. Yes, to some Gran Torino is the story of a man who puts his life on the line for others, but his real heroism is opening his mind and his life to strangers.

A crotchety, fault-finding old man lives in a neighbourhood that has changed, taking him from the 1950s suburban American dream into a war zone of conflicting values and aggressive gun-toting hoons whose lazy, lousy parents are the real villains.

Movie poster, Gran Torino; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Gran Torino; Festivale film review

Walt is drawn out of his shell by the brave young girl next door. As he slowly takes her brother in hand, she courageously faces down local thugs, including her cousin.

Ultimately, she rescues him as he rescues the neighbourhood, although we could have done without yet another christ-allusion.

As he ages, Eastwood is portraying the common man's quiet heroics, and thus creating more powerful characters.

Interesting and inspirational.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 29th January, 2009
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

See also: Changeling

Just the facts:

Title: Gran Torino (2008)
Written by: Writing credits (WGA) Nick Schenk (screenplay) Dave Johannson (story) & Nick Schenk (story)
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Running time: 116 mins

The Players: Clint Eastwood

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