Friday, December 19, 2008

Gran Torino: The Seven-Word Review™

Again, this idea belongs to Nathaniel, but Clint Eastwood is nothing if not famously efficient, right? I can hardly avoid this format. So, here goes:

The nightmare child of Kolya and Crash.

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Blogger Calum Reed said...

Hahaha! How is the man himself?

4:24 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

Not as absolutely awful as he seems in the trailer, but it's a false part in a false story, and I don't think the Academy will go for it. It really would feel like "just giving it to Clint," with no plausible excuse for rewarding this performance: it's not even showboaty like Pacino was in Scent of a Woman. It's just pretty thin gruel. He'd be totally out of the running if there were a single clear front-runner we could count on to rally the troops. I suspect he's out of the running anyway.

5:20 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Oh. Holy. Jesus.

I didn't see Kolya, but I did see Crash, and anything crossed with Crash is something I'm probably not going to cross.

11:21 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Guy Lodge said...

Oh my God, that makes it sound even worse than I thought. I'm really scared now -- I'm definitely not facing this sober.

Please tell me there was ironic cheering in the theatre for the "Get off my lawn" line. Actually, non-ironic cheering would be even funnier.

4:15 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

i wish you wrote for the New York Times.

11:59 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Nick, actually, Nathaniel's comment makes me think that you should do a set of seven-word reviews and send them to The New Yorker.


4:53 PM, December 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a hardcore Eastwood auteurist, I'm finding myself encouraged by the mixed response to this. This film intrigues me much more than Changeling in much the same way that Flags of Our Fathers, in my opinion, is far superior to Mystic River, and in the same way that DePalma auteurists (which I've become recently) prefer things like Mission to Mars and The Black Dahlia to things like The Untouchables.

9:13 PM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@DWS: Well, you'll certainly get lots of Eastwood trademarks, including the insolent relationship to organized religion and the blatant Christ imagery, the blunt shadows, etc., etc. Whether they really serve this screenplay (or whether this screenplay even exists to be served) is, to me, the question that sinks the project. One filmmaker's clich&#233s and characteristically under-directed performances by non-stars (another autuerist signature of sorts) mapped onto a flailing writer's script. And I say this as someone who agrees that The Black Dahlia is much preferable to The Untouchables! But if you wind up sparking to Gran Torino, I hope you'll help me see the pluses. I will give you some expressive camera movement and his customarily evocative representation of a down-at-the-heels social milieu that most filmmakers wouldn't even touch.

10:50 PM, December 20, 2008  

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