True Grit

Wednesday 16th February 2011

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Year: 2010
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfield, Josh Brolin

I had some reservations about going to watch this. I wasn't convinced I wanted to see a Coen brothers movie before I heard any reviews for True Grit, or saw any of the trailers. But then I heard a number of positive reviews and slowly began to change my mind. However, I've been sucked in by glowing reviews before - and often regretted listening to them. The warning bells on this one really started to ring when I heard the words "and the cinematography is truly amazing..."

Well, it turns out that was true - the cinematography is indeed stunning. The movie was only a minute in and I was already thinking how wonderful the film looked. Thankfully, the rest of the review was true too. This really is a great movie. The story is engaging, the acting first class, the dialogue fantastic, and the directing more impressive than I was expecting. It's possible that my fear of it being bad meant I enjoyed it all the more, but it's still a highly recommendable film.

True Grit was made before, in 1969, with John Wayne in the lead role. He received an Oscar for his efforts playing Rooster Cogburn. I haven't seen that version, but plan to seek it out at some point - it'd be interesting to compare the two, although from what I understand they are very different movies. The basic story, if you don't know it, is that Mattie Ross (Steinfield) wants revenge on the man who killed her father, and hires Rooster Cogburn to help her get it. Special mention has to go to Steinfield - she is so convincing as the headstrong teenager who knows what she wants, and will work hard get it. Hers is the best piece of acting I've seen in some time.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.