Thursday, January 6, 2011

Movie Review- True Grit

So sorry, I know its been awhile since I've updated. I've been on a bit of a Holiday/ New Years hiatus. Looks like I've got a bit of catching up to do with my reviews! Let's start with True Grit. Most of you have probably already heard that it's a good film but the film may not be what you expect it to be. Based off the previews, I walked into the theater expecting something more along the lines of No Country For Old Men- very serious and violent in tone. I do enjoy those kind of slow and serious western films such as The Unforgiven and 3:10 to Yuma; however, True Grit is more in line with the older, humorous, and sarcastic Western film. True Grit is very in line with classic Coen brothers previous works.

The storyline is pretty basic. We got 14 year old Maddie Ross looking for her father's murder Tom Chaney. She finds a Federal Marshall by the name of Rooster Cogburn (played by Jeff Bridges) who has a reputation of killing his prisoners. Her slick tongue eventually gets Chaney to agree in taking on the job. Maddie has every intention of seeing Chaney be caught and executed, therefore insists on accompanying Cogburn on the hunt. Before she can leave with Cogburn, she runs into a Texas ranger by the name of LaBouef (played by Matt Damon) who is also looking for Chaney for a crime he had committed in Texas. LaBouef and Cogburn prepare to enter Indian territory in search for Chaney until Maddie stubbornly follows the pair. Refusing to travel with a girl, LaBouef leaves the party and Coburn reluctantly agrees to allow Maddie to travel with him.

Their travels leads them to run into some interesting characters and makes for a few laugh out loud moments. Watching the chemistry between the main three characters was quite enjoyable. LaBouef and Cogburn do not really work well together and the two spend more time strifing with each other than progressing anywhere. The movie trailer for the film makes the duo out to look like a pair of bad ass cowboys but they turned out to be a couple of very laughable yet likable characters. You'll also be surprised how little screen time Josh Brolin, who plays Tom Chaney, gets in the film. The entire films builds up to the moment when our trio can confront this dangerous fugitive, and when we do reach that moment, his dim wittyness doesn't make him the most intimidating guy which you were expecting.

True Grit really is a prized piece of work in many ways. The Coen brothers did a wonderful job writing a great script. Maddie really makes a place for herself in a environment dominated by men. There's a great scene where she's haggling with a sales man and gets away with all the winnings and leaves the guy nearly bankrupt. Maddie is played by Hailee Steinfeld and is the true star of the film. I'm really hoping she'll get recognized at the Oscars this season. All the characterization in the film is great to go along with the wonderful script and all the actors do a great job delivering it. The Coen brothers are also able to create a good sense of urgency and tension in many of the scenes, which is helped by a wonderful score to compliment it.

In the end, True Grit is a western film that is more about the characters than the story itself. What I loved about this movie the most was the strange humor that came with it. If you're expecting some bad ass, action packed, western film- you may want to look elsewhere. If you're a fan of the typical Coen brothers sarcastic, dark humor film, you definitely can't skip this one. This film definitely deserves a nommy for Best Pictures at the Oscars this year. I was quite disappointed when Golden Globes did not recognize it.

Final Score- 9/10

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