Sunday, January 2, 2011
The new True Grit does the original John Wayne version proud
Fans of the original story remember that the young Mattie Ross (in this one played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) seeks vengeance on Tom Chaney (played by Josh Brolin), the man who murdered her father. Since the law doesn't seem to be in a hurry finding Chaney, she hires one-eyed and drunk U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (played by Jeff Bridges) to do the job. A Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) is also looking for Chaney for a different crime and joins the duo.
The Coen Brothers direct this film and tone down their usual shtick and makes an effective modern western. There is lots of humor and several exciting action sequences. The three leads are wonderful. Steinfeld is easily the best performer in the cast as she holds her own with veterans Bridges and Damon. Her Mattie Ross pretty much is the main character unlike the first film version which focused more on Cogburn. Speaking of Cogburn, Bridges is very good as the stubborn marshal and has several emotional scenes with Steinfeld. But he also gets tough when he needs to be when dealing with the Ned Peppers Gang, who have Chaney as part of their group. Damon actually provides a good deal of the laughs as he is in constant conflict with Cogburn. The cinematography and music score are also top notch. I enjoyed True Grit immensely and think it's even better than the original, save for the awkward ending. So I will honestly say that True Grit was my favorite film of 2010 and I can't wait to see it again.