The Gran Torino story is really interesting. Why before the nominations dropped, a few people were talking up Gran Torino’s chances. We were pretty devoted to it being The Reader if any were to upset but there were a great many who suspected the Clint movie would have done something. It might have if there had been just a little more time for the story to gain traction. Here is S. James Snyder writing for TIME:
This year’s Oscar story lines have already been etched in stone ‚Äî Mickey Rourke as the comeback kid, Slumdog Millionaire as the art-house wunderkind, Milk as the timely social commentary (released three weeks after Proposition 8 passed in California). Yet while the critics have been fussing over wrestlers and Mumbai quiz shows, audiences have been flocking to Gran Torino ‚Äî an Oscar outcast that’s been doing laps around the competition at the box office. At some point this week, the Clint Eastwood drama will pass the $100 million mark, easily surpassing the box-office receipts brought in by not only some of the Oscar front-runners (Slumdog Millionaire now totals $56 million, Milk $21 million) but also Eastwood’s last Oscar winner, Million Dollar Baby.
“It’s an amazing story that no one’s really talking about,” says Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst with Hollywood.com. “For a movie starring a 78-year-old to have a $29 million opening weekend in wide release, and in the process to beat out the likes of Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars, I don’t know if I’ve seen that before … It’s a testament to how people still feel about Clint Eastwood.”