“True Grit” by Ragdoll

Going into this film, I had pretty high expectations. From Raising Arizona to Fargo, the Coens brothers have always produced phenomenal work. I expected this movie to be great; I just didn’t how high on the scale of 1 to 10 it would be awesome. As a notice, I haven’t seen the original True Gritwith John Wayne. I’ll be reviewing this movie completely independent of its original.

True Grit starts off right away in the story. It keeps itself consistently entertaining with good pacing, (except it does slow down a bit in the middle) and there are several comedic beats that I didn’t anticipate.

The acting was absolutely phenomenal from everyone in the cast. The strongest praise needs to go to the legendary Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of the ultimate, washed up, anti-hero, and to the young Hailee Steinfeld for playing a strong, equally likeable, protagonist. While Steinfeld hasn’t had many roles outside of the failed Sons of Tucson series (poor thing) and some made for TV movies, Steinfeld’s future seems bright.

The dialogue was very witty. The color tones were dramatically appropriate (I’ve never seen blue tones used effectively in a Western until now). Additionally, the settings were perfect. The old fashioned transitions used to move the scene along were great; it helped capture to feel of the old styled western.

The two biggest problems I had with the film were: 1) The slight continuity errors. They’re not too noticeable if you don’t look for them, but they are an indication of how quickly the Coens brothers made this movie. And 2) I didn’t feel a strong bond growing between Jeff Bridges’s character and Steinfeld’s until the very end. If anything, her relationship with Matt Damon’s character felt more solid.

This film is good, but No Country for Old Men was better. When looking at No Country for Old Men and True Grit side by side, thematically, they can almost be seen as continuations of each other. True Grit seemed to show off the characters’ use of experience in the story. They traded tales of experience for entertainment, It kept them alive during battles, and it was how Jeff Bridges’s character, Cogburn, sustained his job (through the people he met and the men he’d killed before he became a Marshall.) No Country for Old Men can almost be seen as a continuation of that idea, but where time has caught up to the old cowboys. Tommy Lee Jones, as an experience cowboy like Jeff Bridges, is a sheriff, but the setting is no longer in the old west. They’re in a modern day city. As such he wants to catch criminals, his serial murderer in particular, in the old fashioned way, but with the development of modern methods things just don’t work out how he wants them to. When putting both films side by side you can see that they’re very similar in theme and design of characters. I’d say that the Coen-verse may be entirely connected. Must look deeper into Fargo to see if all that snow is related to Jeff Bridges’s acting experience…

Rating:



Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the review or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

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