TRUE GRIT Movie Review
It's hard not to love a movie by the Coen Brothers, in my opinion. If you look at movies like Fargo, Burn After Reading and No Country for Old Men, you can see that they have an acute talent in storytelling for the screen. True Grit, which is a film adaptation from a Charles Portis novel, and a remake from the 1969 classic starring John Wayne, is another film that can be added to the list of spectacular movies under the Coen Brothers' name.
Though filmed in typical old Western style, we follow a not so typical character - a teenage girl named Mattie Ross (played by Hailee Steinfeld), as she tracks down her father's killer. She hires a US marshal who's past his prime (Jeff Bridges) and a lawman who offers his services to help out (Matt Damon). The story follows the trio on a journey through the wild west as they track down the culprit who murdered Mattie's father, and confront him and his gang in a old west shoot out with a twist.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film, from its intensely dramatic moments to its upbeat, witty dialogue quips. Jeff Bridges' adaptation of Rooster Cogburn, which John Wayne won an Oscar playing in the 1969 version, is both amusing and endearing to see. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is so much more than a child performer, she is an absolute phenomenon onscreen. Though only 15 years old, she delivers every slick-tongued retort with finesse and ease. I was incredibly impressed that she not only kept up with an all star cast of established actors, but even surpassed many of them in several scenes. The fact that she was nominated for an Oscar for this role should say enough about her. And Matt Damon, who plays a lawman named simply "LaBoeuf", is a steady actor throughout, and carries many scenes well. It's not nearly his best work, but he's still enjoyable to watch.
Though I normally try to keep my expectations of a movie neutral, I couldn't help but have high hopes for True Grit, knowing how much I love previous works by the Coen Brothers. I was lucky that this time my high hopes were matched, and to a very satisfying extent.