Excerpt: In this bull’s-eye of a Western, a 14-year-old ( Hailee Steinfeld ) hires a drunk ( Jeff Bridges ) to find her father’s killer ( Josh Brolin ). The Coen Brothers ( No Country For Old Men ), who wrote and directed, jave delivered a deadplan yarn about a frontier girl’s mettle and power to affect men around her. Matt Damon delights as a lawman, but it’s Steinfeld who stands out. Not since Anna Paquin won an Oscar for The Piano has a girl shown such screen presence.
The Coen brothers outdo John Wayne with 'True Grit'
22 December 2010
Excerpt: The 1969 Western True Grit is no Citizen Kane —it’s not even the Citizen Kane of Westerns—but it does feature John Wayne’s only Oscar-winning performance, as irascible U.S. marshal Rooster Cogburn, hired by preternaturally poised teenager Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) to track down her father’s killer in the wilds of Arkansas. Directed by Henry Hathaway, True Grit is a stolid but mostly sturdy Western, with a fine but not especially outstanding performance from Wayne.
Excerpt: Marshall Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, the gruff and eye-patched†anti-hero first created by author Charles Portis and embodied twice on film†by John Wayne, was†translated to the screen both times by female screenwriters — an occurrence not without its predecessors and one that is both incongruous and ironic considering the harsh treatment of women in Western films.
Excerpt: The story is about a young girl, Mattie Hayes (Kim Darby), whose father is murdered by a ranch hand. She goes to town in search of a man with true grit who will help her find the man who murdered her father. Who she finds is US Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Wayne), the meanest Marshall around with 24 kills to his name in the four years he has been with the government. Along the way she also finds a Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell), who is on the trail of the same man.
Excerpt: "True Grit" is a film that holds the idea of a classic western in high reverence. The spectacular cinematography is a highlight in this story of retribution, and the directors' hands are clearly present; the storyline contains all the wit, deadpan humour and fleeting moments of brutality that one has come to expect from them.
Excerpt: I can’t say I’m much of a fan of Westerns, but having said that, Rockstar Games certainly changed my perception of gaming with their Western epic, Red Dead Redemption, so maybe Joel and Ethan Coen could do the same with their re-make of the John Wayne classic, True Grit. The funny thing is that I was looking forward to Matt Damon’s role as LaBoeuf, the boastful Texas Ranger with a grudge, but I certainly wasn’t that enthused with the prospect of having to endure Jeff...
Conclusion: Although some say Wayne's Oscar was given out of sympathy instead of his performance, he still acts well as the sheriff who's past his peak. Proving he wasn't always a serious as he was made out to be, he plays the role with aplomb, even pastiching himself in other films.