Fine, I'll confess: I had had my doubts about Clint Eastwood's relatively stealthy December drama, Gran Torino... that is, until I watched the just released trailer over at Apple (to go along with the recent poster and push, natch).

The earliest synopsis gave me a vibe not unlike David Cornelius' take on the material, and yet, despite Eastwood in fact yelling at Asian-American youngsters to get off his lawn, he really seems to be letting his direction best serve this performance, which could single-handedly salvage a simple-sounding 'never too late to learn a life lesson' plot and probably garner the attention of a certain Academy that often has room for his work (it doesn't hurt his chances that this may very well be his last effort in front of the cameras).

Let's face it -- the man's got grizzled down pat as an actor, and redemption nailed as a filmmaker, so count myself among those exceedingly curious to see if Gran Torino has what it takes when it formally enters the race in limited release on December 17th.