Thursday, January 6, 2011
In 1969 Life Magazine said "TRUE GRIT is good enough for me; it is good enough for you, and if it isn't good enough for some movie company, then the free enterprise system is really going to hell."
The Coen Brothers claimed that this was a "retelling" of the original version that was more true to the book. I think what the Coen Brothers meant so say is that the vehicle for the story is less Rooster Cogburn and more Mattie Ross. The acting from the young Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross was excellent in the movie, however there was some unintentional humor inserted in by the acting styles of Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Perhaps it was a little more Labowski and a little less Rooster for me. However, I think I am being a bit short-sighted because of how much I enjoyed John Wayne's performance before. Matt Damon as LaBoeuf (LaBEEF) didn't quite work for me though as he was more comic relief than anything else. I wish the Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper could have had a bigger part in the movie, but in their short scenes they owned it like they usually do.
But back to Jeff Bridges as he is the "star" of the movie after all. I think to have a solid opinion on his performance requires a definition of what GRIT is. To me it is toughness, instinctfullness, stubbornness, confidence, firmness, resourcefullness, etc. (those are all the adjectives I can think of right now). I think as a character, Jeff Bridges does deliver on having TRUE GRIT. I have a feeling that the Life Magazine quote was something that Jeff Bridges considered every day before doing his lines.
I am debating how this movie will be reecived come the awards season. I could see it getting nominated for best film, best director, best actor and best supporting actress. At first blush I only wanted to give the movie 3 Quacks, but I think I will give it a solid 4 Quacks. It is a movie that will hold up and you will see as a classic in 15-25 years.
Things I learned from watching True Grit...
(1) sucking snake venom out doesn't work
(2) laying rope around your bed at night will protect you from snakes
(3) snakes don't like little girls because they are too boney
(4) shooting biscuits prooves that you have grit
(5) declaring you have an attorney will get you out of any sticky situation
Quack back with what you learned...