Gran Torino and Up

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In the movies Up and Gran Torino, there are many reinforcements and resistments of ageist assumptions. While Up and Gran Torino both exhibit and defend against ageist assumptions, they do it in similar and in different ways. Both of these movies are stories about an older man who lost his wife and grow throughout the movie because of their relationship with a young boy. These men are portrayed as grouchy old men who are lost without their spouses. When the young boys come into their lives, they learn to appreciate life again and see their purpose in life. In both movies, we do not know much about the wives. For example, the only information that we know about Dorothy is from what other people have said about her in their conversations. We are shown who Ellie is in a few clips, but we never hear Ellie’s voice, just the information that Carl tells us. Both men clearly miss their wives, but the adventures that they both undergo teach them to live again.Walt and Carl both develop into father figures throughout their adventures. Walt is like a father figure to Tao and Sue. In the BBQ scene, Sue explains to Walt how he was there for Tao when he was needed. Carl is also a father figure to Russell. Throughout the movie, Russell explains how his father was never around and he enjoyed the little time that he spent with his own dad. As the movie progresses, Carl is seen as a protective father figure especially when he tells Russell that he doesn’t want his help, he wants him safe. In addition, Carl is there for Russell at the badge presentation and just to talk on the curb. Carl and Walt are both given brochures for a retirement home. Walt’s son and daughter-in-law came over for his birthday. His two presents from them were a gopher, to help him pick up things on the ground, and a phone with huge numbers. They claimed that these gifts “would make things easier because he worked hard his whole life”. They also believed that he should start taking things easier and move into...
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