Tuesday, 4 February 2014

An evening with a Catholic curmudgeon


A Catholic curmudgeon......look familiar?
I have long been a fan of Clint Eastwood and now that Mrs Linen, Miss C. Linen and I are spending a few days at the modestly sybaritic Bluestone resort, we settled down, last night, to watch (yet again) the film that I consider the best in the Eastwood portfolio, Gran Torino.

He plays an ageing veteran of the Korean War coping with a terminal illness and a dysfunctional (ie modern Catholic) family.

The trappings of liberal Catholicism threaten to swamp him, from irreverent grandchildren misbehaving at his wife's Requiem Mass, to a fresh faced 'fourth former' of a priest who would make an excellent social worker but is at zero level when it comes to being a priest.

A young parish priest at odds with a curmudgeon
There are a number of good moral threads to this story including Clint's character 'Walt's' acceptance of his Hmong neighbours, the development of a young man in danger of just drifting through life, the fight between good and evil.

But, of course, the one overwhelming theme is that of the Sacrament of Penance, Confession, if you like.

Walt cannot bring himself to go to Confession after many years of not practising his Faith.

 He has a violent streak in him and the final scene involves him in a physical battle against a gang of Hmong thugs.

I can say no more without giving the storyline away.

It is, arguably, one of the most intensely Catholic films of the last 20 years.

But, there is a great deal of what the filmmakers describe as "strong language".

That means an excessive use of the 'F' word so this film is not for minors.



  1. Very interesting. Sadly, however, it seems that Mr Eastwood has gone over to the Dark Side when it comes to supporting the homosexual perversion. I would imagine his Republican Party friends, not to mention the Hollywood big shots, had something to do with that.

  2. Yes, it's a cracking film. Eastwood finally goes to Confession and is clearly at peace thereafter.

  3. Yes, one of my favourite films too. I love the irony that his smoking doesn't kill him for health reasons, but that he dies through smoking. It becomes his great act of redemption. However the people in the film are the Hmong, these are from the Vietman/Laos border, they are not Korean.

    1. Rita, many thanks, I think I sort of assumed they were Korean. I'll amend the post.

  4. Thanks,

    Sounds good. Didn’t know about it but will look it up.

    I’m a bit nervous about the language however. I thought I had heard it all when I walked out of the barrack gates for the last time in 1958, but now know we were actually innocents!

    Perhaps I’ll ask my oldest grandson to watch it with me and keep an eye on things.

  5. I really loved this movie. After the Sacrament of Confession, he ultimately sacrifices his life to save a entire family.