True Grit *****

Running time: 110 mins  Certificate: 15

Synopsis: After a hired hand Tom Chaney (Brolin) kills her father and flees, 14 year-old Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) hires a one-eyed, tough, heavy-drinking U.S. Marshall, Reuben J. ˜Rooster” Cogburn (Bridges). They are joined by La Boeuf (Damon), a Texas Ranger on their manhunt.

 

When the Coen Bros. announced that they would be tackling another remake, there was a fear that the end result would turn out to be another Ladykillers. By attempting something that is widely regarded, it was a big gamble. But thankfully it has paid off in many ways.

John Wayne’s memorable performance of Rooster was always going to be intimidating for any actor to try to live up to. But Bridges has made the role his own, even giving more expression to what was let’s be honest a one dimensional performance from the Duke himself. 

Damon also excels, but this would not be hard given his role was last performed by the wooden Country singer, Glen Campbell. While Hailey Steinfeld is just astonishing, it is hard to think not only that it is her movie debut, but that she is only fourteen years old. The supporting roles from the fantastic Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper should also be mentioned as the main villains of the film.

The scenery is breathtakingly shot by Roger Deakins who blends the landscapes with a mixture of blacks, browns and greens, very little colour is presented. While Carter Burwell’s gospel influenced soundtrack will keep audiences tapping their feet throughout.

The script is witty, dramatic, powerful and oozes with delicious dialogue that only the auteurs can write. 

The Coens’ have done it again with another masterpiece. In fact they may have outdone themselves this time. By sticking with Charles Portis’, they have made a remake that is far superior to the original in every way. This is as close any cinemagoer can wish for in terms of perfection.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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