Thursday, February 17, 2011

True Grit

I caught True Grit again tonight and I found it to be an improvement over a film that I thought was great the first time. This time I was able to view Jeff Bridges's performance without thinking of The Duke and was able to see just how great of a performance it really is. Haille Steinfeld's performance stood out again, and I believed her entirely as a precocious (emphasis on precocious). Matt Damon's work is fine and Josh Brolin again surprisingly shows versatility in a small role. I also wanted to bring attention to Barry Pepper's performance, which has gone unnoticed, which seems to be an imitation of Robert Duvall who originally held the role although he brings his own take on a snaky bad guy. The dialogue and direction by the Coens is pitch-perfect and Roger Deakins's cinematography should be commended as well, and many beautiful scenes remained etched in the viewer's mind.

12/22/10 review With True Grit, the Coen Brothers have (surprisingly) crafted an old fashioned entertainment that distinguishes itself from the beloved 1969 original. It also functions as an acting showcase for all involved. It tells the story of a young girl (newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, excellent) seeking the aid of a U.S. Marshall (Jeff Bridges) in order to apprehend the marauder (Josh Brolin) who killed her father in cold blood. Along the way they reluctantly join forces with a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who also has his reasons for bringing the target to justice. As mentioned, the film comes off as an old-fashioned Western with the cast speaking in a slack-jawed manner. Bridges does not do a John Wayne impression, and successfully makes the role his own. It is also worth mentioning Roger Deakins' beautiful landscape photography. In the end we are left with a wonderful throwback film which may leave us wondering why the Coens chose it as their latest project.