Sunday, 15 July 2012

FILM: True Grit (9/10)

After their 2007 No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers try their hand at a true western with True Grit, an adaptation of the novel of the same name which John Wayne won his only Oscar for the 1969 version.

Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is a headstrong 14 year old girl out to avenge her father's murder. Knowing her limitations she recruits the most unscrupulous U.S. Marshal she can find, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). They set off into Indian territory to hunt down her father's killer (Josh Brolin) occasionally accompanied by Texas Ranger Matt Damon, who is after the outlaw for a previous offence.

Helped by the Coen's excellent script, Steinfeld, Damon and Bridges in particular deliver excellent performances. Mattie is the moral compass of the uncomfortable trio as they proceed on their road trip and amusingly keeps her elder companions in line throughout for her own gain. 

The film also benefits from superb cinematography, including some memorable shots when Rooster and Mattie cross the horizon at sunset.

True Grit operates at its own pace towards it's finale and although few may consider it uneventful or boring it is a great story of unflinching retribution and justice.

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