Clint Eastwood is just getting better with every movie he does, and his last one, Gran Torino, is a masterpiece.
I am amazed about Eastwood’s skill. I remember him when he played what I considered cheap cowboy movies, and Dirty Harry. But now, the man is 78 years old, the has been an actor for more than 50 years and a director for over 30.
In Gran Torino he acted the lead role, and he directed and produced the movie. The story is about a cantankerous racist and several unlikely friends: two Asian teenage neighbors and a 27-year-old priest.
The main character, Walt Kowalski, is a retired auto worker in a blue collar neighborhood of Detroit that has changed into an ethnic melting pot. He is presumably the only white American left in a block of Asian neighbors. He calls them Gooks, from his Korean War days, he verbally abuses them, yet, as he is a man who knows right from wrong, good from evil, he ends up their protector against their own worst side of themselves.
As I watched every minute in delight, I chuckled often as the cultures and generations clashed. I felt the pain of the inner city as I observed the hopelessness of the gang culture and what it does to young Americans – take away their chances. I reveled in watching the old man outwill the young thugs. I rejoiced in recognizing that people of vastly different backgrounds can live together. And I had a tear or two when it got tough.
When I walked out, I could only think: Wow. Eastwood is a master.