Tuesday, January 25, 2011

True Grit

Finishing the year with a Western is a fine idea. True Grit was most definitely a Western with all the Western-ness that you can handle. That was the only negative that I can think of, instead of being a Coen Brothers movie it is just a Western done to near perfection.

Usually this would be the part of the review where I would detail all the sweet Coen Brothers moments throughout True Grit, but this was the least Coeny movie I’ve seen them make. They definitely wrote the dialogue because you can’t hide that, but the story is pure Western from beginning to end. The story followed an obvious straight line and ended cleanly. It was confusing. Thankfully all the dialogue was hilarious so I didn’t feel I was completely in a foreign country. And if the horse trader scene doesn't qualify as memorable, I don't understand the rules of the game anymore.

So … Jeff Bridges huh? I thought he peaked with Stick It but I now must admit that I was wrong. It feels good to admit that. Forgetting the fact that he was stepping into John Wayne’s shoes, Bridges was incredible. He owns every moment he is on the screen. He is pathetic and a badass at the same time. The accent is ridiculous and perfect. If he wasn’t given the "hey we like you and want you to get one of these before its too late" Oscar last year, I may have backed him as the best performance of the year. But I don’t back losers...

Although Jeff Bridges was the selling point, the actual star of True Grit was Hailee Steinfeld. I know she got nominated for Supporting Actress but the movie was told from her point of view and was her story. She held her own with the stars and also took home the prize for best scene as she negotiated circles around the horse trader. Matt Damon takes on the third wheel role of Laboeuf and delivers as usual. Its always a pleasure when a headliner willingly takes a supporting role because the film is worth it. Josh Brolin attempts to remind everyone why he was storming up the ranks after Jonah Hex destroyed his momentum. But his villainy is completely overshadowed by Barry Pepper, who was shockingly good in his few minutes as Lucky Ned Pepper. That's actually unfair because Pepper was fantastic in a completely crucial role as the man Rooster has been hunting for years. The Coen Brothers always cast with the best of them.

Remaking True Grit was an interesting choice by the Coen Brothers. But I'm always up for a good western and take them wherever I can get them. Thanks Coen Brothers!

9 out of 10

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