Tuesday, January 11, 2011
True Grit 2010: Movie Review
I really had no desire to see this movie.
Reason 1: All too often I just don't get the Coen brothers' films, but Wingnut is a Coen brother fan, so off we went.
Reason 2: I'm not a big fan of Jeff Bridges or Matt Damon. I'm just not a fan of Hollywood types, period.
Reason 3: I felt a sense of loyalty to the original film starring John Wayne, even though I've never really watched it. How does one remake "the Duke" and do him justice?
I am so glad Wingnut talked me into seeing this film.
Reason 1: This is by far the best Coen brother movie. They used a subdued hand and did not rely so heavily on outrageous or gimmicky characters. Rooster Cogburn is a character, but he didn't possess any of the Coen bizarreness one might expect.
Reason 2: Jeff Bridges made a fantastic Rooster Cogburn and he didn't overplay the part. Matt Damon's slightly trivial and silly Texas Ranger was a perfect role for his limited capabilities. But it was the girl that made the film. She was incredibly well cast and the part written for her was brilliant. Not only was she was amazing, she was believable.
Reason 3: Apparently, this film is a much closer match to the novel by Charles Portis. I've never read the book, but I have read in reviews the book focused more on the character of Mattie Ross than on Cogburn. This film did just that. One is left to sort out if "True Grit" applies more to Mattie than to any of the male characters.
This is a Coen brother production and although the violence and language are more subdued than their typical fare, I would still recommend this film for much older teens and adults. A discussion with your teens regarding the theme of vengeance portrayed in the film could yield some very interesting conclusions on the subject. USCCB rating for this film is A-III--adults.