Monday, May 18, 2009

Movie Night

I was all set to write another post about editing today, but then we went to the movies last night and saw Grand Torino with Clint Eastwood. Have you seen it? I'd heard bits and pieces, and recalled that it was nominated for an award, but other than that I didn't know much.

Saturday night we went downtown for a celebratory ice cream after I finished my rewrite edits (!!!) and we stopped to chat with the owner of the movie theater. I asked what she had playing in English, she pointed at Clint Eastwood's scraggly mug, and back we went last night.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Clint typically plays hard-nosed guys who are set in their ways and won't listen to anyone, but this role takes that to the extreme. He plays Walt, a racist widower in a poor Detroit (I'm assuming) neighborhood, who hates his Vietnamese neighbors and the priest that his dying wife insisted check in on him.

I don't want to give too much away because it's really good and I think everyone should see it, but the movie follows the developing relationship between Walt and his neighbors, particularly the two teenagers who live next door. Oh, and there's a '72 Grand Torino that hangs out in the backyard. ;)

One warning: if racial epitaphs offend you, make you uncomfortable, or go against everything you stand for (like me), you may find yourself squirming a bit. Well, a lot. But it's done in a way that instead of hating the character, I kept finding similarities between Walt and my deceased grandfather. (Not that my grandfather was mean, Clint just looks a lot like him in this film and I couldn't help but compare the two men.) He's a mean old man, but you can't help but care about him.

As for my edits, I finished the rewrites and now I get to start the close edits. Eek!


*****

Today is the deadline day for Owen's Due Process Legal Fund.

You can read my original post here. A friend of mine from college is taking on his local school board to make sure his autistic son gets the education he deserves, and they need help raising the money to pay their legal fees.

Thank you to any of you who've helped!

23 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

What a great weekend you had!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, the acceptance came after I posted this. :P I guess I know what I'm writing about tomorrow.

WendyCinNYC said...

I loved Gran Torino. What a great, nuanced character he was.

And congrats!

spyscribbler said...

It was a fabulous movie! And in the end, he does a pretty good job of redeeming himself. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Great movie!

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, excellent word. Nuanced. That he was.

Thanks!

Melanie Avila said...

Spy, we couldn't stop talking about it afterwards. It's been awhile since I've seen a movie that moved me like that. I've seen good movies, but this one I could see playing out in my backyard, you know?

Pink Ink said...

Congrats, Melanie!! Woo-hoo.

I've never seen a Clint Eastwood movie. "Grand" sounds interesting. Sometimes, it's nice to just go out for a movie, especially after working hard on a manuscript :-)

Turkey Lurkey said...

*Adds movie to her Netflix list* I'll see it some time in the fall. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Pink, you've NEVER seen one? Not even Million Dollar Baby? You must!!

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, just go shuffle Mr. Turkey's list again. :)

Penguin said...

Pink, I agree with Mel on Million Dollar Baby.
One of the best films ever.

Made me cry.......

Melanie Avila said...

Made me cry and almost throw up. Boxing makes me squeamish.

But don't let that deter you!

Nadine said...

Congrats on finishing your edits!! And a movie and ice cream are the perfect way to celebrate!!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, especially because they were on two different nights. :P Double the pleasure.

gypsyscarlett said...

Melanie,

Major congrats to you for finishing the revisions!

I have about 7 chapters left in my revision. The last hurdle. You've just inspired me!

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Gypsy! I'm a little nervous about the close edits, particularly because I don't like the way it currently opens, but I've got to start someplace!

Robin said...

I loved that movie! It seemed like Eastwood took his same snarly character, but used him in an entirely different way. I found it really heartwarming.

Congratulations on your revisions!!!

Allen said...

Million Dollar Baby?!?!? Come on. Netflix the "Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

There was never a Clint like the spaghetti Clint. I love to watch those old movies with the Italian speaking actors and Clint struggling through in English.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Robin. Yeah, he almost pushed it too far for me, especially at the beginning, but he won me over with Toad and Sue.

Melanie Avila said...

Allen, I don't know why, but I just cannot get into any movies made before I was born. I know it's bad, but I just can't.

Benjamin Solah said...

I heard about this movie, I'm kind of intrigued by it.

I know what you mean by cringing at questionable characters. It's good though. I think you can not like your main character and let him redeem himself.

Melanie Avila said...

Ben, I hadn't thought about it that way, but this movie is a perfect example of having an unlikeable character and having him change by the end of the story. I've had a lot of conversations about this recently and this totally fits that description.

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