Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gran Torino

(Cautiously taking off my pastor hat for something a little less theological:)

Last evening, all the ladies of the house were gathered in the living room having a Jane Austen fest, watching the long version of Pride and Prejudice (as in 5 hours long). Thus, the self-respecting males in the house had to go out and watch the new Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Torino. We were not disappointed.

While I hesitate to recommend an R-rated movie–and this movie is rather raw at some points and filled with bad language throughout–I found it to be an entertaining and compelling story. The Clint Eastwood character, despite his gruff, seemingly racist exterior, is a very likable character–a "real man" in the old school sense. And his relationship with his family, as contrasted with his neighbors in a changing neighborhood, is developed fairly well. If I was hearing correctly, Clint Eastwood himself even does a little singing during the closing credits.

In terms of the religious aspects of the movie, there is a shaman who is very briefly portrayed in a positive light, and there are a few not unexpected problems in the way the Catholic priest is portrayed (though he, too, is developed as a positive character). But in a deeper way, the climax of the movie in particular is quite Christological–a slightly surprising and satisfying resolution of the story (though the imagery perhaps gets carried a little too far). Lutherans even get a brief reference in connection with Hmong refugees coming to America.

Some of the actors portraying the Hmong characters in this movie were a little stiff and clearly newer to the acting craft. And again, there is a heavy dose of foul language (thought it mostly comes off as realistic rather than gratuitous). But if that coarseness doesn't put you off, I believe you'll thoroughly enjoy this movie.

Here's a review of the movie from the local Milwaukee paper.

1 comment:

Juan Iluminado said...

I enjoyed the movie very much too, but I have to say, I went to see the movie after I saw the previews when I went to see another film. I was a little disappointed with Gran Torino, because although I think the movies is good, and Clint Eastwood delivers a great performance, I did not see anything new that I had not seen in a previews performance by him, I'm talking about "A Million Dollar Baby".

However, I think Clint Eastwood is like a good red wine, he is getting better as he gets older, as an actor, director, producer, and now musician.

P.S. Forgive me my mistakes, if I made, but English is my second languague.