Clint Eastwood has said that his turn in Gran Torino will be he last as an actor so that he can devote all his time to directing. Knowing that the film would be his last in front of the camera, Eastwood apparently decided to unleash a heightened form of facial acting that is the exact polar opposite of Ben Stiller’s portrayal of Derek Zoolander. In the Gran Torino trailer, Eastwood makes a variety of faces that come within seconds of tearing through the fabric of space time, instantaneously creating a black hole, and ending the universe. There simply has never been a man capable of making a face that shows so much displeasure. It’s really amazing.
In Gran Torino, Eastwood plays an intense, curmudgeonly widower who can’t get along with what’s left of his family and despises the wave of immigrants that has begun to settle in his neighborhood. Eastwood basically hates everyone and everything until he catches his young Hmong neighbor trying to steal his car for a gang initiation. After reluctantly taking the boy under his wing, Eastwood eventually comes out of his shell of hate, connecting with the rest of the boy’s family and protecting them from the gang. I imagine that the some of the most difficult scenes for Eastwood come near the end of the film, where he has to coax some type of smile from his weathered face after spending most of the movie pushing the limits of a soon-to-be legendary hyper-contorted grimace.
Highlights of the Gran Torino trailer include: 1) Eastwood confronting some troublemakers on the street with a voice that sounds like he snacks on gravel. 2) Eastwood looking like he’s going to implode just before kicking his children out of his house for suggesting he move into a retirement home. 3) Eastwood’s elderly, female Hmong neighbor spitting a quart of tobacco juice on the ground in response to Eastwood complaining about all the foreigners moving into the neighborhood. And, 4) Eastwood pulling a rifle on a bunch of gang members and telling them to get off his lawn. My favorite part of the trailer comes near the end when Eastwood beats up a gang member with his bare fists, even though he’s at least 70 years his elder. Gran Torino opens January 16, 2009. Check out the Gran Torino trailer at Zuguide.com.