Gran Torino (2008) Director: Clint Eastwood

Gran Torino is an exceptional film directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. It's stayed with me for a long time as the more I think about it, the more exquisite it is to me in terms of its screenplay; there's so much going on underneath that it slowly dawns on you why Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) does 'what he does' in a pivotal scene. It's incredibly moving.

The film follows grumpy old man, War vet and 'racist' Walt, who has just been widowed and is becoming increasingly alienated from his children who seem to be out for what they can take from him. Walt likes to tend to his prize Gran Torino car and to sit on his porch in his neighbourhood and moan, especially at the immigrants who are moving into the neighbourhood and the gangs that are becoming dominant.

A Hmong family move in next door to Walt and here the film really steps up in the beautiful developing friendship between him and Thao and Sue Vang Lor, the children of the family. Thao is unconfident and is being bullied by his cousin's gang whilst Sue takes Walt under her wing and despite his protests and put downs, they enjoy a wonderful, humourous banter with each other. Walt constantly has his eyes out for them and saves Sue from an awkward encounter with three young men and helps Thao to come out of his shell and gets him a job.

Unfortunately, Walt is also coughing up blood. A scene where he receives his hospital results is key to the future intentions of our protagonist - we never find out what is wrong with Walt but we know it's serious. He makes a painful call to his son who is too busy to talk to him and being the proud and stubborn man that he is, Walt does not feel he is able to communicate the results with him. What follows after in the movie is shocking and a moment of complete horror, far more powerful than any of the dime a dozen bloody acts we see on screen these days. The movie then turns into a revenge flick and we think Walt will go all 'Dirty Harry' on some asses. He does...but in a very unexpected way.

It's an intelligent, thought provoking and outstanding film. Be prepared though, I was in tears at the end, it's a beautiful and heart-warming finale in the most strangest of ways. You also get to hear Clint sing in the end credits with Jamie Cullum, which is pretty neat.