Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gran Torino

I recently went to the movies while home on leave, something I don't often do. I met up with friends and we went to dinner and then to the theater. I'm not sure why I don't go very often, though I suspect the pesky vow of poverty might play some role.... (Being Down Range might also figure in, come to think of it.)

In any event, after a rather hasty Chinese dinner (because we'd decided late on what our course of action would be), we got to the cinema shortly before movie time. The room was packed, and we wound up not being able to sit together. I hate it when that happens.

My seat was closest to the front of all of us, perhaps because they figured the old guy needed to be near the screen. I'd have preferred to be farther back, but it wasn't a crisis.

Clint Eastwood has another triumph on his hands with "Gran Torino," from what I saw and heard. As I'd expected, after learning that he'd written the soundtrack to accompany "Flags of Our Fathers," Eastwood wrote music for this film, as well.

I'd read that "Gran Torino" had been shot on location in Detroit, and I even recognized some of the street names and had been in the church which figures prominently, though I'd remembered the name incorrectly. The car itself reminded me of my grandmother's 67 Chevy Caprice, which I'd inherited and then drove during my senior year of high school.

The movie was exquisitely written, shot, and produced. While the language can generously be described as a bit harsh, and the themes difficult, I highly encourage a trip to the theater.

This is a love story, ultimately, and as is so often the case, a story of redemption.

Don't wait until it comes out on DVD. It's worth the effort.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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