Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True Grit (2010)

Seen on Christmas Eve. I got a chance to read Charles Portis' True Grit, on which both the movie versions were based before I saw the Coens' new version. After reading it, I couldn't help thinking that the Coen Brothers were really the perfect fit for a new adaptation. Turns out I was right. What is really interesting is how the Coens ended up making what feels like an old school western. It has a really straightforward narrative. It has the feel of a throwback, the Coens seem to dial back their signature style. That sounds like a criticism but its not, it fits perfectly for the story. I particularly like how they keep the similar language from the novel, it reminded me of their use of old style verbiage in Miller's Crossing. The cast is uniformly great: Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn is awesome, and Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are all good. I would be remiss in not mentioning what everyone else is mentioning: the newcomer Hailee Steinfeld playing Mattie Ross. She is the reason the action begins, and she is the glue of the movie, and, simply put, her performance here is a revelation.


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