True Grit -Movie Review

True Grit is the story of a girl who hires a man to find her fathers killer. This movie is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne movie and based on a novel by Charles Portis.

True Grit is nominated for ten Oscars, including Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Director. Jeff Bridges who won the Leading Actor award last year for Crazy Heart is nominated again for his role as Rooster Cogburn, the U.S Marshall. Also, Hailee Steinfeld is nominated as Supporting Actress for her role as the stubborn teenage Mattie Ross. Both of these actors along with Matt Damon (Texas Ranger, LaBeouf) and Josh Brolin (the killer, Tom Chaney) gave fine performances but nothing stood out as brilliant. When Josh Brolin came on screen I got quite excited because he is a fantastic actor and Matt Damon, who I disliked in the trailers, was my favourite of this movie. Damon was enjoyable and brought the serious side which is what Mattie wanted. Bridges played his role of a drunk which he has been doing a lot lately, so it didn’t seem like a great performance. Steinfeld as Mattie was alright. I’m unsure what to think of her performance because she is younger and as I have never seen the original or read the novel I’m unable to judge on the franchise, but I didn’t like the way she did a few things.

The settings in this movie were common for what this movie is, a cowboy western. It seems very simple to make this kind of set, especially as there have been so many cowboy westerns over the years and Texas has the perfect American desert landscapes. Which is also said for the costumes. How hard is it to get some chaps, and a gun holster? One thing I really did like in this movie was the cinematography; although, this seems like a cop out for me to like this. There were no imaginative shots or surprising, new things they did with the layout, but everything came together well. It wasn’t anything award worthy though.

This was a Coen Brothers production in the writing and directing which you can tell through the work. As I was able to sit and watch the movie through with ease I would still say the directing was alright, but nothing exciting. In addition, the writing while okay, wasn’t anything much. I don’t know if it ended the same way in the novel or original movie, but I disliked it. Losing her arm and 25 years later finding out the man Rooster Cogburn is dead is not a satisfying ending, nor does it give poetic justice to the situation.

I would give this movie a 2 out of 4. Although I disliked the movie I was able to watch it and even if I was made to watch it a second time I would not oppose too much, and I would probably be able to find a few things I liked about it.

Lauren, sending reviews your way.