Gran Torino

"Get Off My Lawn!"

From - Gran Torino. 2008

A 78-year-old action hero? You betcha, when it’s Clint Eastwood. Eastwood movies have become dependable, whether he stars or directs. He has won five Oscars—two as Best Director, two as producer of the Best Picture, and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

He has been nominated twice for Best Actor and the buzz has it that he will be nominated for his most recent starring role as Walt Kowalski in Grand Torino. Eastwood stars as a Korean War veteran who catches a neighborhood Hmong boy named Thao trying to steal his 1972 Ford Gran Torino.

Kowalski finds out from the boy that the stealing was part of an initiation in a local Hmong gang. When his parents are informed, the boy is forced to work for Kowalski as penance. Gradually, Kowalski opens up to Thao and his family and learns about their culture instead of drinking beer watching Cubs games on tv.

The car has a special meaning for Kowalski because he had worked at the Ford plant and bought this car new. He also keeps an M-1 as a symbol of his military days. Kowalski is like Eastwood’s other main roles in that he is a loner, tough guy. In this film, he is estranged from his children and grandchildren. He sits on his porch drinking beer, chewing tobacco and watching the world go by.

Gran Torino had a limited release on December 12 but has already been recognized as one of the Ten Best Films of 2008 by the American Film Institute. Clint Eastwood has already been nominated for Best Actor by several major organizations. The original song with the same title as the film has been nominated for the Golden Globe Best Original Song. One of Eastwood’s sons worked on the score. The movie is now out on pay per view and can be purchased or rented at your favorite video store.

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