Wednesday, November 30, 2011

True Grit

By s. Wednesday, November 30, 2011 , , , , , , , ,
93/100 (110 min, 2010)
Plot: A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer.
Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writers: Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay)
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld

“You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God. “

I don't like westerns. All the gun fights, saloons, sand, cowboy hats and rangers piss me off for some reason. In fact, the only western I like and I don't think it covers it, since it's one of the very few movies I've rated 10/10 is “The Assassination of Jesse James by Coward Robert Ford”. I also loved "Deadwood" but that was mostly to amazing characters and performances. So why watch “True Grit”? Each year I watch all movies nominated for best picture. And Coen bros. flick had total of ten nominations in 2010 plus a nomination for 14-year old girl, which I found interesting.

I had such a good time watching this film - it's funny, entertaining and well made. The acting is probably the best thing about it, right after dialogues. Hailee Steinfeld, who plays Mattie is very young but because of her feisty and inspired performance, the movie earned her Academy Award nomination for best...supporting actress. It's one of the most obvious and disgusting category frauds in Academy history, probably even more striking then when Kate Winslet was considered to be lead in “The Reader” three years ago. Seinfield is in every scene - if she's supporting than I'm a freaking monkey. She captures the bravery of her character splendidly, she is strong, determined and stubborn. There is very little of child in Mattie and she is behaving like a grown woman – she had to cut her childhood short given that her mother is fragile and now her father is dead. She is quite fearless and very independent - it's an incredibly admirable girl.

Bridges delivers yet another terrific and hilarious performance and his on-screen chemistry with both Seinfield and Matt Damon is insanely entertaining to watch. He plays almost constantly drunk but very skilled bounty hunter, who even though makes a lot of mistakes along the way has a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. I liked this performance more than what he accomplished in “Crazy Heart” but this may very well be because I didn't particularly like sentimental movie about country singer hitting rock bottom. Bridges breathes life into his quite stereotypical character with so much wit and humor it brings us back to his legendary performance of The Dude – Cogburn is almost as chilled and cool as El Duderino was. Matt Damon is surprisingly great as Texas ranger, disapproving of Mattie's involvement and quarrelling with bounty hunter all the time and Josh Brolin makes for a fantastic villain as a man who killed Mattie's father.
The film is fantastically paced – I wasn't bored for a second – the action picks off immediately after the start and lasts throughout the movie – in fact it's only second movie from ten nominees of 2010 right after “Black Swan” which I can't wait to see again. There are scenes of intense shootouts, chase sequences, bullets flying left and right and our characters being in danger. And most of them is spiced with great and amusing dialogues. This is probably the most entertaining movie Coens did in a very long time, perhaps even since “The Big Lebowski”.

What I liked the most about “True Grit” is its ending which is so bittersweet. Nothing awful, but also nothing extraordinary happened. What happened After a tale of this amazing “true grit” we receive an ending which crushes us with reality. It's brutal, poetic and beautiful at the same time.


  1. I LOVED this movie, and would probably give it the same rating. "If she's supporting then i'm a freaking monkey" Hahahaha that made me laugh :D It's true though, the Academy can be so stupid sometimes...

    Nice review!!

  2. Great film, It was shocking that Steinfeld was nominated for supporting. She was amazing. Good to see the Assassination of Jesse James getting some love too, under-appreciated film that one.