Sunday, January 2, 2011

True Grit (2010)

Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Punishment comes one way or another

Plot: Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with "true grit," Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has his or her "grit" tested.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? YES!

Please support good movies like this in the theater. We need more of them.

Damn, I love the Coen brothers. I love a good Western and these guys delivered in spades! The acting is top notch. I'm shocked that Hailee Steinfeld (playing Mattie Ross) is about the age she plays in the film. She was able to hold her own with all of these big name players like nobody's business. It'll be a shame if she doesn't get an Oscar nomination for this. It is a crime, however, that her name is not among those on the poster. I'm sure that's purely a studio marketing decision since she is an unknown. Assholes.

The location shooting is always a plus. The beautiful landscapes of the American Southwest are like no other (well, except for Almeria, Spain and parts of Canada but they're still no match) and the Coen's use it very nicely.

I was looking forward to seeing Josh Brolin in another Western and his portrayal of Tom Chaney, the man Mattie wants to see dead, was much different than I expected. He's a slow witted simpleton and, if he had tried, he could have easily made you feel sorry for the guy if it weren't for the fact that he's a very naughty boy. Brolin amazes me at every turn.

Another shocker was how quickly the 110 minutes flew by. It really felt like it was over not long after it started. That's great film making and it's a testament to how good and solidly entertaining film this is. For 30 years the Western has been a genre that has fallen by the wayside to other shitty-ass films. Since the beginning of cinema through to the 1970s there were more Westerns made annually than any other genre. The movie Western is a genre defined by the beauty of the American West and it's a shame that that part of our history and culture is now largely ignored.

Please support good movies like this in the theater. We need more of them.

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