If you’re anything like me, you’re a huge Coen Brothers fan. They have an amazing track record: Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, A Serious Man, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Hudsucker Proxy, Raising Arizona, etc. When you catch wind of a new Coen Bros. movie, you know that you’re going to see a fantastic film. True Grit is no different.
The story isn’t new. Charles Porter wrote the novel in 1968. John Wayne was in the first film adaptation in 1969. It’s the story of a 14 year-old girl named Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) in her acting debut), who isn’t ordinary by any means. She’s a young adult on a mission – to hunt down Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who robbed killed her innocent father in cold blood. With her sharp tongue and gung-ho attitude, Mattie calls upon the assistance of US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her hunt down Chaney so that he can be brought back to her home-town and face his punishment. Also on Chaney’s tail is Texas Ranger Le Boeuf (Matt Damon) who is on the hunt due to a senatorial murder, and desires to bring Chaney back to Texas to hang for that crime.
Performances: amazing. Direction: breath-taking. Score, cinematography, marketing, everything: perfect.
Am I biased? Maybe. Did I begin watching the film knowing that I would love it? Probably. It’s the kind of film that makes you want to watch more westerns. It reminds you why you love Jeff Bridges for the 100th time. Watch it knowing that the main character has never acted before and prepare to have your mind blown. Steinfeld has a long acting career ahead of her and I’m particularly very excited for it.
Does this film deserve to win any Best Picture awards? I’m inclined to say no, only because there were so many great films this year. The Fighter gets my vote, though most people have majorly become fans of The Social Network.
So if you’re trying to decide what movie to see, keep your eyes out for True Grit…that is to say “your eye”.