Me and My Nine Iron

January 10, 2011

True Grit review

Filed under: Movie reviews — BJ @ 3:50 pm

The second eponymous adaptation of a ’60’s novel may be the first true Western from the Coen brothers, but it’s not a far stretch from the number of period pieces and rural shooting scenes on their resume – Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Ladykillers, No Country for Old Men. That’s over a third of their work.

The storytelling and dialogue is amazing as usual for a Coen film, and the cast is excellent. Jeff Bridges, who worked with the Coens in The Big Lebowski, and Matt Damon provide some classic one-liners, and then 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld holds her own as the precocious girl full of vengeance.

Critically, the Coens are well-recognized, but I feel like they don’t get anywhere near the love that a James Cameron or a Christopher Nolan get from the general audience. People don’t get excited about a forthcoming Coen film as they do with the other heavy hitters, and I hope that changes because they easily deserve being in this elite class and might be better than some of them. (Future post topic?)

The L.A. Times predicted this would be the second-highest grossing Western film of all-time, behind only Kevin Costner‘s behemoth $424 million Dances with Wolves (1990), and I found it among the year’s best.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Coen brothers collaborated with Carter Burwell for the 15th time, which I believe is all of their films since they began directing in 1984. It’s an outstanding score and unfortunately, due to the use of church hymns, is not eligible for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards. (The award for Best Score – Adaptation or Treatment was retired after 1973.) Here is their chillingly good theme song, which plays throughout the movie.



1 Comment »

  1. I’m not the biggest fan of the Western genre. Maybe it’s the general griminess, or the great outdoors that puts me off (I hate camping). So far my favorite western is Tombstone. True Grit is a close second, and it’s mainly because of Hailee Steinfeld. She makes the movie, and I definitely look forward to her future.

    Why aren’t the Coen brothers on the same level as James Cameron and Christopher Nolan? They don’t make epic, summertime blockbusters. Simple as that. But that being said, I think the Coen brothers have license to make pretty much anything they want. Their resume and stack of awards, I assume, have studios begging to them make movies.

    Comment by Chris Le — January 11, 2011 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

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