in about 100 words or less
USA 116m, Colour
Director: Clint Eastwood; Cast: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Ahney Her, Christopher Carley, Doua Moua, Sonny Vue, Brian Haley
In Gran Torino, Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a geriatric version of Harry Callahan whose line “Make My Day” is replaced with “Get Off My Lawn”. Kowalski is a stubborn mean-spirited recently widowed Korean war veteran who continues to maintain his own home in what was once a middle-class white neighborhood, which has now become dominated by poor Asian immigrants and which suffers from rampant gang violence. Despite his overtly racist attitudes, Walt develops a friendship with Thao, a young man who hesitantly attempts to steal his prized 1972 Gran Torino as part of his initiation into the local gang. Despite the unlikelihood of such a change in a character like Walt Kowalski, Eastwood’s nuanced performance makes the transformation not only believable, but exceptionally entertaining (Klaus Ming February 2010).