Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Kowalski is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors. He is a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor Thao, a young Hmong teenager under pressure from his gang member cousin, tries to steal his Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, Kowalski is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood. Written by
Kowalski is by far the most popular surname in Poland, practically like "Smith" which as a matter of fact it means, in adjective form usual in Polish names. (Kowalczyk - Marilyn Monroe's name in Some Like It Hot (1959) is closely related to it - meaning "Smithson"). The name "Kowalski" identifies a person as a Pole. See more »
When Walt rescues Sue and Trey from the three thugs, he tells Trey that he should not have said "bro" to them. This would have been impossible for him to know; he pulled up to the stop sign after the incident. See more »
God, I am sorry for Dorothy, Walt. She was a real peach.
Thanks for coming, Al.
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The credits scroll over a highway overlooking the lake shore, with the Warner Logo appearing in black and white. See more »
My expectations coming in to see Gran Torino were very high and it certainly did not disappoint. Of course Clint Eastwood reputation has only gotten even better since his recent success as a director but this time it his performance that leads the way.
Clint Eastwood had if not the best performance, one of the best performances this year. His performance was vivid and magical to watch. Vivid may seem like a head scratcher of a word to use but his way of displaying his maliciousness, antisocial and cynical attitude to the many people around him including his family. Yet over the course of the movie his attitude changes towards a Hmong family who are his neighbors. When one of the boys (Thao) from the neighbors' attempts to rob him of his Gran Torino, the family sends him to work for Walt (Clint Eastwood) as punishment. While Thao works for Walt, Walt begins to form a protective fatherly type bond over Thao. In this way as well Eastwood's performance is very vivid showing how his cold bitter attitude can transform into a very warm selfless demeanor towards one family.
Gran Torino was also written and directed very well. Especially since a relatively unknown cast played to beyond anyone could have expected. Some how Clint Eastwood manages to continue to maximize the potential of the material he is given.
This was a very heart-warming film in my mind throughout. The ending of the film is probably more of an ending to Eastwood's career as an actor rather than that of the movie itself. It does not leave him in the place he is looked at as a vigilante but rather in the place of the man that stands up for his morals and for the people he is loyal to.
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