I expect Clint Eastwood’s films to be difficult and dark. With Gran Torino, my expectations were met. I was surprised, though, by how funny the movie was, both in its dialog and its commentary on the character of Walt (maybe Mr. Kowalski, but definitely not Wally).
In future semesters, I may show the scene when Walt first visits Sue and Thao’s house during a celebratory feast to illustrate cultural norms and cross-cultural differences.
The movie is continuing to simmer in my mind – I wonder how Walt’s own family could be so detached and unaware of Walt’s strengths. Also, what allowed Walt to be touched by Thao and Sue when he clearly built so many barriers?
One note that did not ring true to me was the way-too-obvious cross symbolism. Despite that, I cried and cried at the end. Unlike the end of Million Dollar Baby, I also felt hopeful, too.