'Gran Torino': Clint Eastwood's Best Actor quest

If you’re like me, when you saw the trailer for Clint Eastwood’s new drama Gran Torino, you groaned and thought, Ugh, this looks just like Dirty Harry but older. But I had a chance to see the film last week and I’m happy to report that has much more depth. Like Eastwood’s last acting-and-directing job, Million Dollar Baby, it goes to some very surprising places. I’ll leave the actual criticism to my much more qualified colleagues Lisa Schwarzbaum and Owen Gleiberman, but from an Academy perspective, though Gran Torino probably won’t end up a top-five Best Picture possibility (the competition is just too stiff), Eastwood’s performance seems to me like a good bet for a Best Actor nomination. At first, some viewers may be distracted by all his moaning and groaning (literally, he often moans and groans instead of actually speaking), but as the film goes on, a fantastic character arc emerges, and Eastwood gets to play gruff, then sensitive, and then heroic in the space of two hours. Though he’s got two Oscars for directing and two for producing, he’s never won in an acting category. Whether Eastwood can unseat top competitors like The Wrestler‘s Mickey Rourke or Milk‘s Sean Penn remains to be seen, but given that he has said he may not act anymore, a Best Actor nod seems like the best way for the Academy to acknowledge this very interesting film, and his storied acting career.

addCredit(“Anthony Michael Rivetti”)

Comments (19 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Jack

    Nope, I’m not like you, hence I didn’t groan. I knew what was going on with this film. Hell, I’d never groan at anything Eastwood does. He’s a legend.

  • Rose Tyler

    I’m very excited for this film. Clint’s work just keeps getting better and better.

  • Eric

    i hardly think it’s fair to give him an osar nod just because he “may not act anymore” – that’d just be a slap in the face to someone who may have deserved it more. i can’t judge it quite yet, as i haven’t seen his performance, but we shouldn’t be considering one just because it may be his last film. who does he think is? jeez.

  • Christopher Shappley

    That’s funny, because your first impression of the trailer was mine. I hope it is better than I think it looks. However, I have yet to get excited about Button, which may make me the last person on earth to do so.

  • dan

    Wow Dave… how do tools like you get to work at EW? You groaned? At Clint Eastwood? Wow… I feel pity for you… seriously. I’m going to go ahead here and guess that, unlike you, most of the rest of the world said “It looks like Dirty Harry only older… AWESOME!” And for EW… how about hiring some writers who actually, you know, like entertainment instead of always trying to prove how cool they are by dissing everything? Groaned at Eastwood? Loser.

  • Nathan

    It would be great to see Clint win that Oscar, add to that a win a for Heath Ledger as Supporting and the Oscars could actually be pretty good this year.

  • Sean

    I definitely groaned… and that was just from reading about it in EW. I’ll try to keep an open mind when I finally see the trailer.

  • john

    i groaned too, that trailer looked awful…glad to hear that is actually better than that though

  • Clayton

    The trailer looks really cheesy, but it’s Clint, so I will give it a chance, and knowing him, it probably won’t be half-bad.

  • DK

    UGH. Eastwood needs to go away. I am so sick of him this decade. Way too much overexposure and appearances at award shows. Seriously, there are other actors and directors out there worthy of attention.

  • Movie_Dearest

    Ugh, he’s got enough. He is so overrated.

  • Jun

    I too got a chance to watch the film “Gran Torino”. Clint Eastwood with playing Walt was no Dirty Harry. He own the role of Walt. But one role stood out for me, a great performance, the actor who played the older cousin for Tao and Sue, Spider, you can see his motivation in the film with his performance and his eyes are quite hunting. “Gran Torino” I personally enjoyed it and a great original story.

  • luis

    Eastwood’s performance in Gran Torino is the BEST of the year.

  • Mike Wrathell

    When I was a kid, I opened up a Cracker Jack box and the prize was a little comic book about people on a planet that were born old and got young as they aged. If Brad Pitt gets an Oscar nod from literally a Cracker Jack box prize storyline over Clint Eastwood whose character can inspire America to be better than it ever has been before, then there is no justice in Hollywood. As far as Mickey goes, it was great that he gained some muscle, but an Oscar does that not make. As far as Penn, his sickly smile on the Milk poster is all I wish to partake of that movie. Clint is the man, period. And playing Nixon is something everyone has done. Kudos to Frank, but Clint’s character is a greater expression of our potential than apeing someone based on a teevy show. This year is a no brainer for the men. Clint and Heath!

  • Clarence Yu

    Mike Wrathell,
    I agree completely with what you said! Best to you! Clint and Heath all the way!

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Movies


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP