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Just saw Gran Torino!

So, as noted abovce, I just saw Gran Tornio.  It's a recent film by Clint Eastwood, and should be noted as, I believe, the first of his films utterly pased over by the Academy.  More behind the cut.

Okay, I'm not sure why this film was passed over by the Academy in total.  I thought Bee Vang (Thao) was accomplished and held up well against Clint freaking Eastwood, which, honestly, I feel is a lot to ask for any young actor.  Clint was very accomplished.  For a granite-faced guy, he does a tremendous amount with facial expressions (and still can glare with the best of them), and does a lot with a pit-bull growl.  If I were to guess why it was passed over, it's on the surface a fairly standard odd-couple, young outsider/old outsider coming together story.  But the circumstances leading up to it were more complicated than usual.  Notably, the 'old guy' effectively makes the first move, but it takes a while before it pays off.

It also had a lot of humorous touches, there was a lot of giggling in the theater (for not many people - it was a late showing), which I'll go into later.  All in all, it's a simple plot, well executed.  Clint's a surprisingly deft hand with fairly straightforward cimenatography, which is visible in Letters from Iwo Jima too (there's a lot of long shots in that, but they're nicely framed standard long views, rather than something sweeping). 

On a side note?  Clint's character is an irasciable, bitching, racist bastard.  This can be somewhat off-putting.  I've known a few grouches like him, so it was very amusing.  I liked the ending, I didn't see it coming like that, but I think it made for a stronger exit: in all, recommended, though I'm not sure how many more weeks it'll be in the theater - probably worth catching when it makes the HBO/PPV rounds if not (and at theater prices, I can't blame you...)