Friday, December 24, 2010

True Grit Review

Movies, when done properly, have the ability to stand alone as unforgettable pieces of art. When you place the brush in the hands of the Coen Brothers, more often than not, they paint a masterpiece. The painstaking character detail, even in players that only play the tiniest of parts in their movies, is astonishing.
True Grit, a remake of the 1969 John Wayne classic, is a straightforward tale of revenge, as a 14 year old girl takes it upon herself to see that the murder of her father is avenged. The girl, Mattie, is a ballsy little thing but, so brilliant is the performance by Hailee Steinfeld, we never forget that she is just that, a young girl. She barters a deal for her fathers horses that allows her to hire the services of Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, a grizzled, gun happy marshall, who is as happy with a gun as he is with a whiskey bottle. It was Wayne who made this role such a beloved cinematic figure, but Jeff Bridges vision of the aging gunslinger, will sit very nicely alongside Wayne's, so good is his performance.
Throw in Matt Damon as a slick talking Texas Ranger, and you have a totally mis-matched trio that look doomed to fail in their quest to track down the killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin, in another unbelievably memorable performance given the short time he appears on screen).
The story is simple, but when it is surrounded by images that look and sound so good, it really only begs one many nods will it get come Academy Award time.


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