True Grit is the story of Mattie Ross and her quest to avenge her father’s murder at age 14. She manages to hire US Marshall Rooster Cogburn, a one eyed drunk who has a knack for killing people and Texas Ranger Laboeuf, who is intent on collecting a bounty. The trio set across the west on the manhunt for the killer Tom Chaney.
This new adaption by the Coen Brothers follows in the path of one of the most celebrated westerns in history. John Wayne received his only Oscar for the role of Rooster Cogburn and before this movie many, myself included, thought remaking a classic film was a bad idea. The Coen Brothers proved me wrong in a big way. They smartly avoided the original film adaption and made a movie that followed the Charles Portis novel much more closely. As a result they made a film that bests the original.
The Coen brothers style of writing was made for this material. They have an uncanny knack of inserting comedy into what should be dry conversation. This helped the film move at a brisk pace and provided a great balance to the dark material. It also helped that they assembled one of the best group of actors in a long time. Even the small roles were filled by top tier talent and all of them delivered. A lot of praise was heaped upon Hailee Steinfeld, and it is much deserved. However my favorite performance was Jeff Bridges' take on Rooster Cogburn. To take on a screen icon like John Wayne in what is deemed his pinnacle role is a monster challenge but Bridges was awesome in this film. He carries a presence with him that permeates throughout the film.
In addition the movie was photographed by Roger Deakins who is one of the three best cinematographers in the film industry. Every shot in the movie is beautiful. Deakins is the master of getting vibrant colors in low light situations and the framing and use of angles in the film are masterful. Roger Deakins is truly a legend in his craft.
True Grit was my favorite live action film from 2010. It was a flawlessly executed western and even more was a remake of a classic that can stand on its own. Every facet of the movie from the acting, writing, direction, music, and photography are done by those that are top in their craft. This is a great movie.
Films like True Grit – True Grit, No Country for Old Men and 3-10 To Yuma
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Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.
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