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Saturday, January 22, 2011

True Grit Has True Grit

I must shamefully admit thatTrue Grit was my first Coen brothers film experience. I am happy to say however that I was not disappointed. Time flew by as I watched beautiful shots and performances one after the other. Hailee Stanfield shone bright as what could arguably be called the lead role of Mattie Ross. At times it was hard to tell who was the bigger star, her or Jeff Bridges. The dialogue was believable, fit the time period perfectly, and highly entertaining. Unlike in many movies where dialogue fills in gaps or distracts from the main point the talking in True Grit served only to enhance the film. It was, for me, the icing on the cake. The film has a beautiful look to it. Composition and lighting are spot on as could be expected. I especially liked the light in the late night shootout scene between Tom Chaney's (Josh Brolin) gang and Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). I'm not sure if it was all natural or not but I doubt that it was, which is amazing considering how good it looks. The set design was amazing, simply put, thanks to the work of Jess Gonchor. The only shots that I didn't like were a few near the end. Mattie Ross is being rushed across the country side after being snake bitten. The shots are close ups of Bridges and Stanfield riding in front of what look like plates that were shot and then green screened in behind them. I also didn't like the random crazy character that was a member of Chaney's gang. He seemed to be... well, random, and served no purpose that I can see other than to make us laugh even more than we already were. Other than that I have ZERO complaints. True Grit gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. It's on my list of all time favorite movies forever now. Thank you Joel and Ethan Coen.

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