I didn’t know what to think when I heard that the Cohen Brothers were remaking “True Grit”. The original was made in 1969 and stared an aging John Wayne, with Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper as small roles. I never saw the original as I am not a John Wayne fan. This new version has its own fair share of star power as well behind it. Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges are the leading men chasing down Josh Brolin. That alone intrigued me.
But the standout performance came from Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. At the tender age of 14 she handles the Cohen dialogue like a champ and gives it a lot of gravitas. She holds her own in this very demanding role and with very little experience in terms of major roles. I think we can expect great thing from her in the future.
The script is Cohen dynamite. It’s snappy and witty and full of genius where it is not expected. This is a common theme for Cohen movies: Poor or stereotypically uneducated folk with extensive vocabularies. It’s a simple story. A young girl is looking for the man who shot her father so she hires a fat drunk Marshal, and a Texas Ranger to assist her in finding the man.
It’s the characters that develop and the script that make an otherwise trite idea into a really great movie. There are some good shoot ‘em up action scenes, a few good laughs and some decent drama here and there. The scenery is lovely along the way and the journey itself makes their adventure one hell of a tale with all the trappings of tragedy and comedy along the way.
I wholeheartedly think people should see this movie. Especially over “Tron: Legacy” if you want to see Jeff Bridges doing something powerful and decent and you want to see a bright young newcomer who I think is REALLY going to go places give it a go. It was interesting to see a Cohen Brother’s movie that was PG-13 for a change, but they pulled it off. Damn fine work boys.