Thursday, February 03, 2011

True Grit (2010)

The Coens claim to have gone back to the literary original here, rather than the 1969 movie with John Wayne. The casting of (the then) thirteen-year-old Hailee Steinfield as Mattie Ross was inspired and the first third of the movie, where her character (and grit) are established in several face-to-face exchanges with male characters in Fort Smith is the most enjoyable.

Thereafter, once she and Jeff Bridges's Marshal Rooster Cogburn (and less consistently Matt Damon's Texas Ranger LaBoeuf) have ridden off into a bleak Roger Deakins-shot landscape and proceed to have disjointed encounters worthy of any mythological quest, the quality comes and goes — as does the intelligibility of Cogburn's contributions to the dialogue. But overall a fine piece of film-making and yet another genre firmly under the Coen's belt.

Grade: A-

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