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Rating History

True Grit
True Grit (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Opening Statement: The Coen Brothers are back this time with their adaptation of the novel of the same title "True Grit." Hailee Steinfeld plays Maddie Ross, a 14 year old girl who is out to catch Cheney the man who killed her father, along the way she hires a man with true grit named Rooster Cogburn played by Jeff Bridges, at the same time a Texas Ranger played by Matt Damon is also out for Cheney since he killed a Texas senator. They cross paths and help one another.

What's Good: This is as close to a classic western that a modern film will come. The characters are very well developed for start to finished. We have Maddie played by newcome Steinfeld who stands her ground well with the big names. She has a natural connection with the character and transforms for the role, a tour de force from her first performance. We also have Bridges who is expectedly good, practically better than John Wayne's Cogburn. Whereas John Wayne played John Wayne playing Rooster Cogburn, Bridges is Rooster Cogburn. We find it at times hard to understand the grumbles of Rooster but it's brutally realistic that we forgive the dialogue we can't understand. Matt Damon gives a great performance as Leboef the Texas Ranger, who at first has antagonistic goals toward catching Cheney first and develops into a whole-hearted person who sympathizes with young Ross. Overall an excellent ensemble work. What's truly magnificent about this story, is not necessarily the story itself but the way the Coens have managed to re-structure it, and truly develop the vibe of the Western.
A lot is owed to Roger Deakins, an excellent award-worthy eye for scenery and cinematography. From the sun sets to the sun rises, Deakins manages his picture with grace. Overall True Grit is a combination of gurus in the film industry who believe in the realm of story-telling and properly handling adaptations. Truly excellent piece of work.

What's Bad: It isn't by far the Coens best. However it still maintains there touch of cinematic vision. Overall for me I was less impressed with the story, especially in the beginning where lengthy scenes of conversation dragged. It's not an action scene every second film, which I am grateful for, it takes time developing the plot in the beginning, some of that time was unnecessary. The second act is a piece of magic that helped me forgive every fault from the first act.

Oscar Possibilities: Picture, Director, Actor- Jeff Bridges, Supporting Actor- Matt Damon (some likely), and importantly Hailee Steinfeld for Supporting Actress. The film itself could also be a shoe in for Cinematography and other technical categories.

Consensus: 'True Grit' is a whole-hearted Western from it's gritty action to its witty dialogue. While it is not the Coens best, it is still highly enjoyable and may bring back memories from classic westerns.