Friday, January 7, 2011
New Release: True Grit
Mattie Ross (the up and coming Hailee Steinfeld) has arrived in town to clear up her father's business - finding his killer, known to be Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She negotiates the sale of his ponies, threatening legal action, finds and hires Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to go out after Tom Chaney, and does it with braids in her hair and her hyper-articulate nature. There's another man looking for Chaney, LaBoeuf (pronounced in the West, "La-BEEF", played by Matt Damon). LaBoeuf is kind of bad-ass creepy, as opposed to Cogburn's bad-ass alcoholic, but they team up to go look for Chaney - and any other outlaws they can find. Of course, dear Miss Mattie wants to come to and she's determined enough to be allowed to come with them. See, it's a simple story. They spend some time on horseback trying to chase Chaney down - they find other outlaws (an unrecognizable Barry Pepper), have a few shootouts, etc. Traditional western.
However, it's the acting, score and cinematography that make this movie one of the best of the year.
Jeff Bridges won his Oscar last year for Crazy Heart, which I also loved, and he's really taken a leap with his acting. It could easily be "The Dude does a Western", but it's not. Yes, he's laid back and casual about his life, being focused on finding another drink, but Bridges is a good enough actor that he fully embodies the role and you don't get The Dude at all. He walks differently, sits differently, and looks out of his one eye very differently.
I was surprised by Matt Damon's performance too - he can come across too nice or too funny to be part of a Western and to be taken seriously. However, even with the funny mustache he comes across as a perfect side-kick to Rooster Cogburn. There were also some lines from the original movie that were really well done - "I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man". Love it!. 5/5 star/lambs
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