|True Grit Review|
A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer.
True Grit trailer via the link below.
Trailer This is a rarity...someone announces a remake of a classic film, a classic film with a beloved American icon no less, and not only does everyone not freak out, they are intrigued by it. Hell, it's Bridges and the Coen Brothers...this could be something unique, right?
Unique for a remake is a strong word, but True Grit does carry a stamp of Coen throughout it, and that is a good thing...while never even coming clost to parody it carries a strong dedication to genre throughout it. What I am trying to convey is that the Coen brothers have crossed over into straight story telling here...I hesitate to use the word conventional but they follow the narrative and have created one of my favourite movies of 2010. Hell, I'll go ahead and say I would add this to the short list (Unforgiven, Hang'Em High and Man Who Shot Liberty Valance) of my all-time favourite Westerns.
As Rooster Cogburn, Bridges may not be of the iconic stature of John Wayne, but he is a phenomena unto himself and this performance ranks amongst his best and for Bridges, that is saying something. This is the Dude after all. This is Flynn, this is Jack Baker...this is Jack from a lot of films! I'll save you a trip to IMDB. He played Jack in The Muse, American Heart, Fisher King, Jagged Edge and Rancho Deluxe. For a variation, he played Jackson in The Last Picture Show, The Last American Hero, and the Contender. Don't know why I find that fascinating.
I'll get to the point about the cast before that whole Jack ramble. There isn't a single performance here that isn't pitch perfect.
The vain, preening 'Labeef/LaBouef' played by Matt Damon brings some light humour and a welcome contrast to Bridges Rooster Cogburn.
The uncomprehending and violently stupid Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) who has joined up with Lucky Ned Peppers Gang (Barry Pepper). Neither may truly represent how the wild west was, but it feels right.
And then there's Hailee Stanfield as Mattie Ross who the film begins and ends with. She enters the film in a detached, businesswoman manner (for a child of 14) and delivers her lines like a seasoned pro...expect a possible Academy Award nod for both her and Bridges. The girl has been sent to arrange for the delivery of her murdered father back home but she also has other plans and that involves hiring someone to bring Tom Cheney to justice. Her one scene towards the opening of the film with her negotiating the costs and horses of her father with poor outwitted Colonel Stonehill (Dakin Matthews) sets her up to be force to be reckoned with.
True Grit is one of those rare films, a film that crosses the $100 million mark and is worthy of it, popular film that deserves to be.