True Grit (2010) DVD
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Produced in 2010
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
Jeff Bridges is a standout as the grizzled one-eyed marshal out to avenge the death of a girl's father. It's a fine adaptation of a classic novel, says Peter Wild.
Not only is True Grit a great movie by the Coens’ standards, it is a great movie full stop. One reason for that is quite simple: the source material is strong. The Coens are remarkably faithful to Charles Portis’s book and where they diverge, they diverge for interesting reasons.
When the novel True Grit first appeared in 1968, it was quickly revered as a modern classic and taught in American schools. With their film, the Coens have created a harder, tougher, leaner version than the 1969 John Wayne movie. It is truer to the book whilst still being replete with the dialogue and characters that we expect from a Coen Brothers movie.
The story is familiar: a young girl, looking to avenge the murder of her father, hires a US Marshal and the two of them pair up with a Texas Ranger searching for the same quarry, albeit for a different crime.
Jeff Bridges takes on the guise of Rooster Cogburn. As the grizzled and gritty marshal he delivers a performance every bit as noteworthy as the one he gave in Crazy Heart. Whether performing for the jury in a crowded courtroom, sprawled hungover in dirty long johns in the backroom of a Chinese restaurant, or riding hard, guns blazing, the reins of his horse gripped between his teeth, he is every inch Portis’s Cogburn, walking and talking as if he’d just leapt from the page.
The Texas Ranger LaBoeuf is subtly played by Matt Damon and their quarry, a no good dirty dog, is brought to life by Josh Brolin. But the real standout is Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie, a complex, defiant figure who isn’t afraid to march through the patronising adult world with her head held high.
As elegiac and stately a western as Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, with True Grit the Coens have again created a film that works brilliantly for both mainstream and arthouse audiences. Also, they’ve gone and discovered a brand new star in Hailee Stanfeld. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Peter Wild on 24th May 2011
Author of 99 reviews
The Coen Brothers update the classic 1969 western True Grit, with Jeff Bridges starring as U.S. Marshal 'Rooster' Cogburn, a role originally played by John Wayne.
After her father is murdered, 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) sets out to capture the killer, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), with the help of two lawmen - the ageing, alcoholic, one-eyed, trigger-happy U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Bridges), and hardened Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Matt Damon). Determined to accompany them on their quest, Mattie wonders whether Cogburn, with his loose morals, has the required 'true grit' for the job. When Chaney's trail heads into Indian territory, Mattie, stubborn to the last, insists on joining the pair in their search.
Length: 232 mins
Cat No: PHE1425
Format: DVD Colour
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