Monday, January 17, 2011

This Week's Recommendation: True Grit

Hi, all. I'm ramping up the blog. Mondays, I'll have a movie, TV, music, blog, podcast, or other entertainment-related recommendation for you. This week, I'm kicking it off with a bang.

If you haven't seen the Coen brothers remake of True Grit, I'm telling you right now: go out and see it immediately. This movie is worth the full admission price, and definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never seen the original film with John Wayne, nor have I read the book the movie is based upon. I know, I know. Beat me with wet noodles later. Anyway, I can't compare the two versions for you. But I can certainly tell you why the remake is worth seeing if you're a movie fan.

The acting is phenomenal. Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn puts in a superb performance. Of course, Bridges is always good, but he's excellent here with a subtle performance that makes Cogburn's gruff personality likeable. If I didn't know what true grit was before I saw the movie, I do now. And I like it. Matt Damon was equally entertaining as a Texas Ranger, who despite his seeming braggadocio, can deliver in a pinch. And Hailee Steinfeld as the 14-year-old heroine Mattie Ross made other child actresses pale in comparison. I really can't wait to see what she does next.

The writing is excellent also. I've heard this movie stays close to the original book, and if so, then the book must be worth a read too. The characters are written so convincingly and with such effective dialogue that I easily surrendered to the movie's plot and time. The slightly archaic language is no trouble at all. In fact, it lends a kind of strength and believability to the film that I think would be lacking if the screenwriters had tried to put the language into 2011 style.

The Coen brothers are solid directors, and I think they did this film justice. There are many great shots, and honestly, I think the cinematography and direction were so good that you could easily overlook them. What I can say is, I felt like I was there in the middle of the action with these characters, and I easily could have continued watching more of their adventures for another two hours and hardly feel the time pass.

True Grit is a true gem, and I highly recommend it.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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