Well Rotten Tomatoes recently made a list of the top 50 best remakes of all time. And this got number one, do I agree with that, no. It's a pretty good remake I can say but the greatest no at all. I actually probably would have never reviewed this if it didn't get number one, but now I feel like I should say why this isn't the greatest remake of all time.
Well True Grit, what can I say, I was really looking forward to it, but it didn't live up to the expectations I was hoping for. Now is that a bad thing? No not at all. True Grit is still an entertaining remake and in my opinion it is better than the original, but I was fairly let down.
In True Grit, Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) joins an aging U.S. marshal (Jeff Bridges) and another lawman (Matt Damon) in tracking her father's killer (Josh Brolin) into hostile Indian Territory. This is based on the movie True Grit back in 1969 and is an adaption of Charles Portis' original novel.
Well the script was done by Joel and Ethan Coen based on you know whose novel. I can't say that it is their best work. Of course it's not an original screenplay, but it seems like they were going for a different type of style with this. Yes it still has two of their styles a chase and it's a western, but there is no dark humor and I can't say that there are any haunting, memorable characters in here. Well of course the original True Grit didn't have this or dark humor, but this just never felt like a Coen brother's film, it's just not weird enough, they could have changed some things but it seems like they wanted to stick with the original so I guess that's alright, but I can't say I enjoyed it. When I watch a Coen Brothers film I expect many of their elements dark humor, chases, partially a western, and haunting memorable characters, True Grit only supplies two of those four. That is one of the reasons I was disappointed.
The other reason why I was disappointed was because of Matt Damon's performance. Don't get me wrong he did an alright job, but he never actually convinced me that he was a lawman from the old west, and I feel that the lines he said came out pretty awkward. When the movie was over I can't say that I enjoyed his performance. I think he should go back being a janitor.
Now let's talk about Hailee Steinfeld. By God, her performance was incredible. I have no idea who else could have fit the role of Mattie Ross, she is fast paced and confident, and better yet she's a child actress that didn't annoy the hell out of me. To me she gives the best child performance since Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. This is one hell of a debut for her. I wanted her to win the Oscar, but she's a kid so that's why she didn't. I don't care if Melissa Leo has never won an Oscar, she did not deserve it for The Fighter, Hailee did! The Coen brothers have chosen correctly once again.
Jeff Bridges gave one of my favorite performances of the year. He is incredibly entertaining as Rooster Cogburn and in my opinion better than John Wayne. John Wayne basically played John Wayne; Jeff Bridges pretty much became the drunken Cogburn. You can barely understand what he's saying but you don't want to mess with him. He fits the role perfectly. Did he deserve the Oscar? Nien! Firth still deserved it and ever if The Kings Speech didn't come out that year, I would have wanted Jesse Eisenberg to have won it. And I stand my ground on that.
I have to mention that although Josh Brolin wasn't a huge main character in here, he was a hell of a lot better of portraying a cowboy than in Joan Hex, his worst role. So I'm glad he was able to redeem himself as a good actor.
The Direction is excellent, the Coen brothers never seem to fail in that category. Every scene looks great, thanks to the wonderful cinematography. It sure is a fine looking movie. They both count in my favorite scene with the man hanging from the tree and the shoot outs were incredibly entertaining. But did the Coen brothers deserve the Oscar nomination for best direction? Nien, Nien, Nien, Nien, Nien, Nien, Nien! The direction may be good, but Nolan's direction in Inception is way better. Inception relies more on direction than the acting to hold the movie up. And besides The Coen brothers have four Oscars each! I'm pretty sure they could have cared less if they were nominated or not. Though, even if Nolan was nominated for direction he still wouldn't have won it sadly. I remember Christopher Nolan saying that the nominations that Inception got was a "True Grit" I thought it was funny.
True Grit did keep me entertained most of the way through, at times it did feel a little slow, but after True Grit was over, there was another reason why I was disappointed, it didn't have an affect on me like most Coen brothers films to do. In other words the ending just wasn't that powerful like in most of their films. The Coen brothers are two of my favorite directors, so I expected a lot out of this. I was mildly thrilled with True Grit, but in the end there was disappointment. No it is not the greatest remake in the world. It's an alright one, I can recommend True Grit but if you're a fan of the Coen brothers, you might be disappointed, just don't be expecting anything like No Country for Old Men or Fargo.
"This Grit has become to True"