true grit

Saw True Grit with Ryan earlier today.  True Grit is the second film adaptation of the novel with the same name.  The first film was with John Wayne in nineteen sixty nine.  This latest one is by Joel and Ethan Coen.

True Grit is about a young girl named Mattie who goes after her father’s killer, she hires Marshall Rooster Cogburn to accomplish this.  Along the way they run in to all kinds of trouble, weather, and other western characters… whackyness ensues.  Probably one of my favorite movies of the year, could be cause I love westerns.

The good; it’s Coen Brothers.  Jeff Bridges, and Hailee Steinfeld is amazing.  The wide shots in here are awesome, and a welcomed relief from all the hand held and claustrophobic close ups that are all the rage lately.  I enjoy a long shot, and a wide long shot at that, True Grit allows me to soak in all the information that is up on the big screen.  The score is also great, the old hymm Leaning on the Everlasting Arms is used not only to book end the film but throughout.  Then there’s the story and the acting.  Everyone talks in a hyper realized dialect or accent, it’s crazy, but consistent, so for that I love it.  Mattie is fourteen, but has to grow up in order to bring her father’s killer to justice, experiencing life on the “range” is something else, there are moments when she’s reacting to things and you see her wall pulled away for a moment and she’s a girl again, wonderful moments that all the more punctuate the violence of the old west.  And then the build up to Cogburn’s “true grit” at the end, wow oh wow.

The bad; the accents, I know I put this on the good list, but sometimes it was hard to comprehend what Jeff Bridges was saying.  I can’t really find anything wrong with this movie…

This movie is unlike the previous works of the Coen Brothers.  The humor is not derived from the quirky characters and situations (maybe cause it’s a remake and an adaptation) but from a tension releaser, much like cheesy one-liners are for horror movies.  And then the variation on old hymms as the soundtrack is wonderful, but also interesting since these hymms are mainly associated with Christianity while the Coens are Jewish.  True Grit just immerses you in to the world of the wild west where justice is served at the edge of a barrel.  One of the best pic nominees, go see this movie on the big screen, I highly recommend it.

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