Sunday, January 9, 2011

True Grit

Movie name: True Grit
Year of release: 2010
Director: Ethan and Joel Coen
Stars:Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Dakin Matthews, Elizabeth Marvel, Paul Rae
Genre: Western, Adventure, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Joel and Ethan Coen follow their little seen "A Serious Man" with a remake of Henry Hathaway's "True Grit". Their intention has been to return to the book from Charles Portis and make their own interpretation of the book. The film follows the story of young Mattie Ross, who at 14 comes to a small town by herself to claim the body of her murdered father and take care of his pending businesses. Mattie also takes upon her the resolution of hiring a marshall to help catch her father's murderer, bring him to justice so he can pay for his crime. Mattie finds Marshall Cogburn, a drunken and older law enforcer, who alongside a Texas Marshall named La Boeuf end up being her rescuers. This unlikely trio set upon finding the fugitive through some rough scenarios.
Joel and Ethan Coen are always interesting directors, even in their failed or flawed attempts to create something different, wich was the case of "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "Intolerable Cruelty" to name a few. "True Grit" is their take on the Western genre and follows the conventions that the genre has established. Jeff Bridges' Marshall Cogburn is rough and tough, but with a heart of gold, who helps the young, bossy and talky Mattie find her father's murderer. Theirs is an adventurous task, since it's only three against quite possibly a larger number of adversaries, but they still prevail and go on their quest. Jeff Bridges does a fantastic job, making his Marshall a resourceful, boozy and ultimately, kind hearted man who tries to help the young woman who has lost her father. Hailee Steinfeld creates a spunky and fast talking Mattie, filled with knowledge for her young age and an iron will who makes her find her quest, no matter what the obstacles are. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper create good supporting characters, but the film definitely belongs to Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld. A solid film worth watching.