Clint Eastwood is a remarkable man. He plays piano, loves jazz, has 5 Oscars, does politics, directs, produces and acts. He has been in great movies for more than 40 years, and his repertoire is probably the widest in Hollywood. Comedy, no problem; action movies, lots; biopics, westerns, romances – it’s all there.
However, Gran Torino, in some ways, sees him hit a new peak. Not to give away all the plot, it is a genuinely deep and moving reflection on old age, death, and doing the right thing. Clint has mastered the paradox of combatting racism while utilising casual racist language and attitudes – an occasional theme in a number of his movies.
Somewhat surprisingly he also introduced a clear Catholic ethos in Gran Torino, and previously in Million Dollar Baby, culminating in a specifically Christ-like allusion at the end.
The acting is uniformly superb. The direction is sparse and economical. The plot is that rarity – a proper story with a beginning, middle and end. It rejects cliche and has a genuine moving twist. Not many films leave you thinking deeply on the big existential issues. This one does. Triumphantly.