Wednesday, December 22, 2010

True Grit-He Said

I'm not a fan of Westerns, and I have a feeling this is very much a cultural reason.  Growing up, I was more interested in sci-fi stuff that my Grandpa showed me, and cartoons that were popular at the time.  I never pretended to be a cowboy while playing with friends in the playgroud; I was a ninja turtle or a ghostbuster.

As my appreciation for movies grew more and more, I still have yet to be interested whatsoever by Westerns. Elisabeth Rappe a writer for, could write and talk those movie for days on and end and even recommended a couple to me, yet I found no connection to them.  On the flip side, the Coen brothers are some of my favorite cliche directors, so when I heard they would be making a remake of a John Wayne Western my interest was piqued.  Then, adding in Jeff Bridges, and I'm totally there.  And True Grit does not dissapoint.

I found the movie to be really interesting; we spend a lot of time getting to know young Mattie Ross (Steinfeld), and her quick witted ways.  Young Ms.Steinfeld is the stand-out star of this movie. She plays the grieving but resolute Mattie with such a great amount of confidence that I hope that she doesn't waste her talents.  What impressed me was the way that the lines were delivered. I got the sensation that if Diablo Cody was a better writer, she would have made Juno's lines sound as great as the ones the Coens wrote for the Mattie Ross character.

I'm going to go on a limb and say that the chemistry between Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges as LaBeouf and Rooster Cogburn is some of the best since seeing Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in Black Swan.  They fight, bicker and banter in the way old friends with ridiculously huge egos would.  I would go so far and call True Grit one of the best "buddy cop" movies ever. It doesn't matter that you've seen the Straight Lace Cop and  Rouge Veteran archetypes, these two actors make them feel fresh.  The other star of the movie, the fine Lone Star State, and if my sources are correct, the majority of this film was done in the areas around El Paso. Let me tell you, I want to live in a Coen Brothers' Texas; the scenery is breathtaking, the snow has never looked so white or the sky looked so blue.  In a world full of green screen, it feels great to see that there are still very talented filmkmakers making the most out of what they have in nature.

My big complaints of this film have a lot to do with a slightly episodic feel to the movie once LaBeouf, Rooster, and Ross go hunting for Tom Chaney (Brolin).  Something happens, they walk and ride for a while, you start over, repeat and you have a lot of the movie. I won't get into the spoilers of this movie here, but I will say that there is a point of the movie that trades the momentum it had building for something out of left field.  It was reminded me of Luke defeating the Emperor and then fighting Stormtroopers for 20 minutes afterwards. 

Overall, this one of the Coen's best works. It's a fine story that is a thrill and joy to watch.  There's not much point in really writing about the story because the characters are the biggest draws in this movie.  I will say I wish that if they had kept the character moments while crafting a more complex plot.  Overall, I encourage anyone that is even remotely curious about this movie to go watch it, and anyone that wants to see a thinking man's action/Western movie to go see it.  It will definitely be in my top movies of this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment