True Grit
Review by Ross Anthony

In this remake of the 1969 classic, Jeff Bridges dares to fill the grizzly boots of the late great John Wayne. More than four decades sprawl between the original and this release, so no doubt most of those heading to theaters this Christmas will not have seen the former. I'll review this Coen brother's version on its own merits. That said, in certain winces, hobbles, and especially the sideways glare of that one unpatched eye, Bridges succeeds at cajoling fond memories of the aforementioned American cinema icon.

Though essentially a "gritty" story of a teen's (Hailee Steinfeld) plight to avenge the murder of her father told in the harsh, old untamed west, this Coen brother's "True Grit" spikes its gun powder with quirky humor. Sometimes that humor resonates from the awkward matching of the Duddly Do-Right-like Texas Ranger (played by Matt Damon) with the just-assume-shoot-you-in-the-face toughness of US Marshall/bounty hunter (Bridges). But, most of the time, the comedy slithers in the contraction-less dialogue like so many snakes in the murky darkness. You've got to listen hard for the shake of the rattler, but this quirky humor has a bite that'll infect your funny bone. All the while, the story, characters, and actors endear.

Gunshots certainly accent the tale, but it's really the clever one-on-one verbal confrontations that carry the drama. In one of these matchings, and perhaps meatiest, a bull-headed fourteen-year-old negotiates a hardened businessman into a nervous corner. Though the film seems a bit heavily front-loaded with these sweet interactions, the Coen brothers take great care assembling each individual part, making the whole feel evenly loved. The end result is highly watchable, cinematically aesthetic, surprisingly subtly funny, and even marginally emotive. I liked it.

jeff bridges, hailee steinfeld
-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • True Grit. Copyright © 2010.
  • Starring Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh brolin, Matt Damon.
  • Directed by Ethan Coen , Joel Coen.
  • Paramount Pictures.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 17-Dec-2010 10:27:01 PST