Earlier in the year, when Let Me In came out, I asked in the review, "Should a movie that's a remake of another film be eligible for the Oscar for Best Picture?" It's a tough question to answer. Once again, that question needs to be asked and this time more seriously because True Grit is amazing! However, it's not really a remake as it is a different vision of the book. Full disclosure however, I'm a HUGE fan of the Coen Brothers. They're the writer/director/producing team behind movies like Raising Arizona, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, and my favorite of theirs and the best comedy of all-time (in my opinion) The Big Lebowski. What excited me the most about True Grit was Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges re-teaming with the Coens for the first time since The Big Lebowski and on the heels of winning Best Actor last year for Crazy Heart. The Coens are arguably the best filmmakers out there. Their films are shining examples of every aspect needed to make a movie. They've mastered suspense, comedy and drama all while making their films arty yet commercial. With True Grit, which is based on the novel by Charles Portis and was already made into a movie in 1969 that won John Wayne his only Oscar, they are just as impressive as ever. The Coens do everything perfectly but the one they excel at above the rest is writing a script. They wield dialogue like no other writer out there...yes, that means Quentin Tarantino too! And what's so incredible about Bridges performance in True Grit as "Rooster" Cogburn is that he manages to mumble and slur his way through the art of their words just enough that you can still appreciate what he's saying and still doing it justice. Amazing! Besides adding Matt Damon to their repertoire of Oscar-winners that work with them, the Coens added a 14-year-old unknown Hailee Steinfeld. She not only holds her own in scenes with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon under the instructions of The Coens (I couldn't be more jealous), but she's amazing at it too! Don't be surprised if she gets an Oscar nomination herself. Don't go into this movie expecting the big-balled, gunslinger action movie that Westerns notoriously are. The Coen's vision of True Grit is full of complex characters that are filled with grey and not black and white. There are no true villains in this, nor are there true heroes. The sense of the human condition is something that The Coens seem to know so well, they can evoke it into all the characters they create. That aspect of it may turn some of you away from the film. The lack of a true climax or big action might be unsettling, but just like the masterful No Country for Old Men, this movie will get better and better the more you watch it and make you think about it long after it's over.
True Grit (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: A-
What was the number one and the worst film of last year in your oppinion? To me it might have to be:
Best: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One
Worst: A Nightmare on Elm Street
With thanks :) <3