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Old December 23 2010, 05:01 AM   #853
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2010

90. Tangled (A-)
91. The Fighter (A-)
92. The Red Shoes (A+)
93. True Grit (A)

The Coen Bros' latest film is a new adaptation of True Grit, previously made into a 1960s film that won John Wayne his Oscar. I've not seen the original, and while I appreciate Wayne as a cultural icon, I've never had any particular attachment to him as an actor, so the idea of a new film is fine by me. The result is a very good film, one of the better Coen works I've seen.

The plot is quite straightforward: a girl named Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld, who's very good, though she's commiting fairly serious category fraud in this year's awards derby) wants her father's killer (James Brolin, his mouth full of marbles) brought to justice, so she ends up hiring a US Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges, in the Wayne role) to bring him in; Matt Damon ends up tagging along.

The film largely hangs on amusing character interaction; indeed, it's extremely funny. It's not quite a comedy, but there's a lot of it in here (typical of the Coens). The characters (especially Mattie) all talk in incredibly formal and elaborate sentences that nobody ever spoke like (they sound like those letters that always get narrated in Ken Burns documentaries). Main complaint would be that the ending is too abrupt; the main story just ends, and then we get an epilogue that doesn't really feel like it adds anything.
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