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True Grit

A movie directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

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True Grit: the grittiest in the wild west (of Hollywood)

  • Feb 9, 2011
Rating:
+4

I’ve not read the book, nor seen the John Wayne original. I’m not particularly a fan of Coen Brothers movies, though I do like The Big Lebowski and I am partial to Frances McDormand in Fargo. Overall, westerns aren't my thing but I loved 3:10 to Yuma and the trailer for True Grit was quite compelling when I saw it back in the summer, so I was eagerly looking forward to seeing it. My family has a tradition on going to the movies the day after Christmas and I knew True Grit would be it.

 



Spoiler-Free Synopsis: A clever girl hires a one-eyed, aging alcoholic US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track and arrest the man that killed her father. They are in competition/cahoots with Mr. LaBouef, a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) who wants the same man for another killing in Texas.

 

Acting Grades:

Jeff Bridges: A+
If I could turn back time and instead have Bridges win his Academy Award for True Grit rather than Crazy Heart (which I remained unconvinced isn’t a carbon copy of The Wrestler) I would. There were a few lines of his that were too unintelligible and mangled in character for me to catch, but that’s part of the character. He was magnificent, though maddening as he was endearing and funny. I’m particularly fond of his ramblings.

Matt Damon: A
I always feel like Damon holds something back, especially in these character roles, but this was by far his best character performance. He absolutely disappeared into his character, and I even had to wait for the end credits to double check that it was actually Damon I watched. Prideful but purposeful, Damons’ LaBouef was as every bit pompous as he was tender-hearted. A job well done.

Hailee Steinfeld: A+
I'm supremely annoyed her importance was bumped to "supporting" for the Oscar nominations. I have honestly lost a bit of faith in the Academy. Hailee is a true talent, and, apologies for abusing an already well-abused word, extremely refreshing. It’s time to rehash the talent in this town and Hailee is just what Hollywood needs. As Mattie Ross she is quick-witted, clever, stubborn and prideful – she is the very embodiment of Megan Fellows’ Anne Shirley of the Wild West. Keep your eyes on this young lady, she is going to the top.

Likes:
- Quick-witted, smart dialogue that wasn’t “snappy” and self-aware
- The fact that the Coen Brothers kept the story to the novel and from Mattie’s POV
- Deep characterization without being saccharine or losing the action

Dislikes:
- Horse dying in a more-than-I-care-for graphic way. Seriously. I can’t take that.

True Grit
Overall Story: A
Was It Worth My Money: Yes
Would I Recommend: Yes
Would I Buy: Maybe. I'd definitely put it on my Amazon wish list and hope someone just buys it for me.
Can Your Mum Watch It: Yes, especially if she loves westerns/action dramas.

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February 12, 2011
sweet review!!
 
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More True Grit reviews
review by . December 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I have no idea how many times I have stated the rules for filming a movie that remakes an iconic original. Well, if you’re one of those folks who’ve never read any of my reviews before, they are quite simple: 1) It must broaden the scope that is covered by the original film while adapting it for a much more modern audience. 2) It must follow the essence and the spirit of the said material (in this case the book). 3) It should pay homage to the source material and/or the original film.   …
review by . December 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Our Christmas movie this year was True Grit, which we saw in the late show Christmas night just before the first Christmas snow in Raleigh in 60 years shut down the town.  We followed that up with a viewing (my first!) of the 1969 original starring John Wayne and Glenn Campbell.      I recently read and reviewed Charles Portis's novel, which I rated +5 for Mattie Ross's spare language of guarded emotion that tells us more about her than pages of florid description …
review by . February 08, 2011
True Grit is an excellent film. This movie reminds of how entertaining westerns can be. It is about a young girl's deternination for justice after her father is shot and killed by a man named Tom Chaney. The film stars new comer Haliey Steinfield as Mattie Ross and Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. My favorite quote from the movie is when Mattie says to Rooster that she is looking for someone with true grit in helping her track her father's killer and avenge his death. True Grit is a phrase that …
review by . January 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Nothing in this world is free… except the grace of God.
With that, the movie begins.      Let me say this about movies. It is neither my lifeblood nor life passion. It is simply one form of entertainments for me. And since I moved to China a few years ago, I barely need to pay much for it. Believe me, very little, hehe...      So, I got my fair share of movies. Some good, some darn lousy. I don’t normally waste time writing the lousy ones. To me, they are not even worth a minute of my life writing about …
review by . February 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     "True Grit" is the latest offering from the legendary geniuses that are the Coen Brothers, and upon finishing the film, I can't help but admit that I was indeed quite "wowed". I went into this film expecting no particularly big surprises; and left feeling provoked and shocked by just how different this film was; at least from what I expected it to be. But the second adaptation of "True Grit" is still a damn good one, and in a number of ways, I enjoy it …
review by . January 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Coen Brothers are not usually known for doing purely genre films.  There's usually a semblance of several genres mixed together when they do a film.  To see them do a purely western is something of a curiosity.  After all, there are reasons why a western, of all genres, might turn heads.  In the first place, it has been years since a fantastic western actually showed up in theaters (perhaps the last truly good one was the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma), but more than that... …
review by . February 08, 2011
Our Christmas movie this year was True Grit, which we saw in the late show Christmas night just before the first Christmas snow in Raleigh in 60 years shut down the town.  We followed that up with a viewing (my first!) of the 1969 original starring John Wayne and Glenn Campbell.      I recently read and reviewed Charles Portis's novel, which I rated +5 for Mattie Ross's spare language of guarded emotion that tells us more about her than pages of florid description …
review by . December 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   If you had asked me a month, maybe even a couple of weeks ago what my favorite film of the year was going to be, without hesitation I would have said Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I knew that Tron Legacy and True Grit were coming up, and I had a feeling that the latter had a good chance of making my top ten or even my top five, but I had no idea it had this great of a chance. In fact, it might just be giving Inception a good run for its money. This is one of my favorites of …
review by . December 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   The Western genre is a perennial of American cinema. Sometimes very popular, sometimes just sort of “there”, but never going away. In recent years we’ve seen Westerns like Unforgiven and 3:10 to Yuma, both of which are great examples of what the genre can do when it’s being worked by someone who really knows what they’re doing. Now to this list we can add True Grit, directed by the Coen Brothers. As with their other films, it’s not just a fine example …
review by . December 26, 2010
14-year-old Mattie Ross has come to Ft. Smith Arkansas sometime during the "old west" to hire a US Marshall to track and bring to justice the man who shot and killed her father. She hires the man she's been told has true grit, Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn, a one-eyed drunk with a ferocious reputation. They set out for the Indian Territories, accompanied, to their chagrin, by the dandified Texas Ranger LeBoeuf. Along the way, they encounter some strange characters and engage in dangerous and bloody adventures. &nbs …
About the reviewer
Rachael ()
Ranked #82
   I am a freelance travel/food writer with my own hobby blog, Glass of Win.   I am a regularly featured writer for Visit the Place Los Angeles magazine and online community.
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Wiki


True Grit is an upcoming 2010 Western film, written and directed by the Coen brothers and starring Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Matt Damon. The film is an adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis which was previously adapted for film in 1969. Filming began on March 2010 with an anticipated release date of December 25, 2010.
 
Bridges will play U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. The character was portrayed by John Wayne in the 1969 film, a performance which earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor.
 
Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl, undertakes a quest to avenge her father's death at the hands of a drifter named Tom Chaney. Ross persuades an alcoholic marshal named Rooster Cogburn to join her in tracking down Chaney.
 
Ethan Coen said that the film will be a more faithful adaptation of the novel than the 1969 version.
 
“             It's partly a question of point-of-view. The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl. That sort of tips the feeling of it over a certain way. I think [the book is] much funnier than the movie was so I think, unfortunately, they lost a lot of humour in both the situations and in her voice. It also ends differently than the movie did. You see the main character — the little girl — 25 years later when she's an adult. Another way in which it's a little bit different from the movie — and maybe this ...
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Details

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western
Release Date: 22 December 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 110 min
Studio: Paramount Pictures
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