EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|TRUE GRIT (directors/writers: Joel and Ethan Coen; screenwriter: based on the novel by Charles Portis; cinematographer: Roger Deakins; editor: Roderick Jaynes; music: Carter Burwell; cast: Jeff Bridges (Rooster Cogburn), Hailee Steinfeld (Mattie Ross), Matt Damon (LaBoeuf), Josh Brolin (Tom Chaney), Barry Pepper (Lucky Ned Pepper), Dakin Matthews (Col. Stonehill), Paul Rae (Emmett Quincy), Domhnall Gleeson (Moon (The Kid)), Elizabeth Marvel (40-Year-Old Mattie), Leon Russom (Sheriff); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Scott Rudin/Joel and Ethan Coen; Paramount; 2010)|
1969 film that starred John Wayne."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The brothers Joel and
Coen ("A Serious
write and direct this
remarkable remake of
the 1969 film that starred John Wayne. The 62-year-old
Duke won his
only Oscar for his wonderful hammy performance as the
comical, hard-drinking, gruff, eye-patch wearing one
eyed U.S. marshal
imbued with "true grit." In the remake the 64-year-old
plays the same U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn and is formidable, though
he's no Wayne. Some sharp-tongued critics called the
film "The Dude
Meets The Duke."
Where the remake is
than the original, is in the
brother's sharper focus on storyline and in their
craftsmanship. This version is a more competent and
enjoyable one, as
lazy directing by Henry Hathaway put a slight damper
on the original.
Also the brothers are more faithful to the great 1968
novel by Charles
Portis (except it skips on the heroine's Christian
fervor that Portis
layed on us in heavy doses in his novel).
It's set in the 1870s
Smith (shot near Telluride), where feisty mature
beyond her years
14-year-old Mattie Ross' (Hailee Steinfeld)
dad has been
killed by a dangerous drifter outlaw named Tom Chaney
Since the local sheriff (Leon
Russom) says the killer fled into Indian
territory, it's out
of his jurisdiction to pursue the wanted man. The
indifferent town has
no will to send a posse after Chaney. But the
humorless Mattie is eager to make sure her father's
murder is avenged,
and thereby skillfully barters with horse trader Col. Stonehill (Dakin Matthews) to raise
enough for reward
money, from her dad's worldly possessions, to hire the
grizzly U. S.
marshal Rooster Cogburn to track her dad's killer.
Rooster's a mean
hombre with a rep of killing most of the wanted men he
goes after. To
his chagrin, she insists on going along and against
joins him. Texas Ranger LaBoeuf
(Matt Damon) is also tracking Chaney
months, as he hopes to bring him back to Texas for
killing a state
The mismatched trio
reluctantly team up and cut a bloody path through the
Indian territory. The trio's journey features humorous
the odd couple marshal and the Texas Ranger, gory
surprises on the
trail as the trio meet up with snarly gang leader
Lucky Ned Pepper (Barry Pepper)
who is harboring Chaney and it leads to a
Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, the
character, is outstanding and probably the pic's main
success, displaying her "true grit" by making sure
straight-forward western is a real delight in a
classic western sense.
REVIEWED ON 12/13/2010 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ