TRUE GRIT--Directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen/Writers: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen from the novel by Charles Portis/ Starring Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin,/PG-13/1hr 50 min
(G) Even though I was told that this was “nothing like the John Wayne movie,” and I was warned not to compare the two films, I couldn’t help but do exactly that. Throughout my viewing I struggled (and am still not sure if viewing in this way did anyone a disservice) because I wanted to give the film its due, on its own terms. However, based upon the reactions of some of the other viewers who apparently had no idea what was coming, (including Barbara, as you’ll read in a moment) I have to say, it was pretty good. I came away feeling as if I liked this movie “about the same” as I liked the 1969 John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Cambell version. The Coen brothers appear to be most comfortable when there is wry, verbal wit involved in the script and often don’t care if anyone else likes the dialogue. Certainly, even a film such as NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, had its clever dialogue and quirky moments and was well-received. A SERIOUS MAN, on the other hand, was like an inside joke and many viewers just did not get it. I appreciate the quick paced banter and this movie was written from a novel that is filled with similar dialogue. I, therefore liked it. I appreciated the stylized film techniques, as well and the characters are all…well, real characters. It was the kind of movie that seems to be coming back to the theaters…good, old-fashioned, big screen entertainment. Jeff Bridges is bigger than life (just like his character); Hailee Steinfeld is about as good as Kim Darby (because her part is great), and Matt Damon was O.K. I give this one three Binoculars.
(B) I did not see the John Wayne version because I just am not a fan of western movies.
I never even saw Shane...Don’t hate me. However, I am a big fan of Jeff Bridges and he did not disappoint. I realize this was not a stretch for him. Nevertheless, he is so darn convincing you would swear he was born with that patch on his eye. Matt Damon was less that perfect in my opinion. He didn’t seem comfortable in this roll and never really made an effort to speak with a Texas drawl. I think a star is born in this film and her name is Hailee Steinfeld. Although not a lover of western films, I highly recommend this one. I give it 3 binoculars, for an average of THREE BINOCULARS.