475 of 519 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: True Grit (DVD)
This movie is a very ambitious undertaking by the Coens who are perhaps the best ambitious project writers & directors around. That this would be compared to the original TRUE GRIT & that Jeff Bridges would face comparison with John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn was inevitable.
Yet this is a different TRUE GRIT. Not in major story line but rather in the personalities as displayed in the book. Truth be told, the original, which I love, was much more John Wayne does John Wayne in TRUE GRIT than it was John Wayne becomes Rooster Cogburn in TRUE GRIT. The Coens set out to make a movie truer to its literary source & in that they have succeeded.
I heard one complaint that Jeff Bridges would never be anything but Lloyd Bridge's son to a reviewer. How prejudicially blind. For one thing Jeff Bridges is a far better actor (able to change personality to fit a role) than his father & most certainly exceeds John Wayne who was a TOWERING screen presence but had to be cast as John Wayne or look & sound poorly. Wayne's voice was far beyond his control. Bridges will never equal that presence but who can?
I heard that there were times when Bridges speech was hard to understand. Are we to send him to the alcoholic school for elocution? Of course he was difficult to understand, he was a raging drunk as in the book, not the grinning drinker Wayne played. Quite frankly it reminded me of the time I read a review that stated a certain girl walked around & looked vacant which made the show poor. She was playing a withdrawn girl with deep emotional problems, duh!
This movie is a marvelously period perfect movie & the outdoor shots are the equal of any good western around. Matt Damon gives his best performance doing the Texas Ranger according to the book, and he became a better actor in doing so. Josh Brolin & Hailee Steinfeld (who is a great foil for Bridge's Cogburn) makes no mistakes in their portrayals either.
This is a master piece of literary translation & a tremendous job of casting, acting & photography. I see so many shows now that have too many close-ups with no facial expression to see. Not so here. They made good use of close ups.
If you intend to go see this & judge whether it is the equal of the original, you will be disappointed. It's not meant to be a modern original. This show is its own interpretation of the story of True Grit. If you intend to judge Bridges or any other character on whether they equaled the original you are wasting your time. This movie is an entire show on its own. It is the book in video images & the combination of personalities make a complete story. I loved it.
In honor of The Duke who is unmatched in force & stature, I respectfully withhold a 1/2 star from this show. I think the Coens might be willing to accept that.
4 1/2 STARS.
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Showing 1-10 of 59 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 24, 2011 7:29:33 AM PST
I agree with you totally; the movie is closer to the book, having the girl be the central character and not Rooster Cogburn. Hatlee Steinfield amazes us with her debut and her character holds the whole film together. I thought Jeff Bridges did an outstanding job of playing the Rooster Cogburn as he was described in the novel; when John Wayne played Cogburn, we always viewed him as John Wayne who's playing a role. In addition, Matt Damon does a much more believable job of playing the Texas Ranger than Glen Campbell. Overall the cast was excellent -- as well as the script, and direction by the Coen Brothers. The Coen Brothers have made not only an excellent western but a modern movie classic.
Posted on Jan 26, 2011 7:12:34 AM PST
D. E. Brumley says:
Two thumbs up to this reviewer.
Posted on Feb 7, 2011 5:13:40 PM PST
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2011 8:52:11 AM PST
C. Lopez says:
Posted on Feb 10, 2011 10:21:56 AM PST
neat tunes says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2011 8:12:43 AM PST
C McGhee says:
Pritch- you are of course right but I'm a poor typist & my mind will not function on that level while typing. I get these reminders frequently & with good intent people expect that knowing will lead to doing. I gave up on it long ago but who knows what blow may crack the stone. :)
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2011 1:40:39 PM PST
William Hughes says:
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2011 3:02:12 PM PST
R. Mulholland says:
Lopez, you need to do some research. Wayne was 6'4'. Just look it up next time. Your comment makes you seem pretty dumb.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 13, 2011 5:36:44 PM PST
C McGhee says:
TOWERING screen prescence refers to his ability to draw peoples attention away from anything but him while on camera, not his size.
You need to re-study his physical stature too.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 14, 2011 11:20:53 AM PST
If you're not simply trolling(which I suspect you are), you're dead wrong, or simply foolish. I saw him in person-in his old age, no less-and Wayne was a HUGE man. He was about 6'4" and BROAD shouldered, very large chest. That's a fact. If he'd stood on a box or wore platforms(come on now) they wouldn't have been able to compose a shot for filming!