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Old December 29 2010, 09:07 PM   #875
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I saw True Grit. It was pretty good, whilst being consistently entertaining and darkly comedic. The film really rode on the shoulders of the actress playing Mattie Ross, and I thought she did a really excellent job. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin (in a considerably smaller role than I was expecting) all do fantastic performances, but that's a given.

One of my few complaints was the pacing, which I thought was a tad lethargic at first. It was helped by some dark comedic bits, which knowing the Coen Brothers' litany of works was pretty expected, but I guess I felt like it took a while to get going. The previews made the film out to be some type of Western thriller or action film, but I would say the film hangs on the often amusing character interaction, and while the dialogue is clever, witty and was delivered well (in the cases where I could actually understand some of the dialogue being delivered...) I guess I was expecting more out of the first hour or so.

Things don't get interesting, at least in my opinion, until the last act, where we have some legitimate tension and some great character moments. Matt Damon, for example, did a wonderful job with a character who I thought was going to be one-dimensional but ended up being quite charming and multi-faceted in the end. Josh Brolin's role was pretty inconsequential, despite his importance to the plot, and was more of a plot device than a meaningful character. I was really surprised to see Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned. Out of all the actors in the film, he really changed his appearance the most.

I would also agree with CaptainCanada that the epilogue felt useless. This is why I don't really enjoy epilogues where we see certain characters years into the future with different actors; it ruins any emotional resonance because we've been following certain actors as those characters. The ending of the actual story felt way too abrupt, and I'm not quite sure what the epilogue added. On top of that, the ending song was just way too loud and abrasive and totally ruined any good feelings I had for the film. I mean, usually they fade-in credit songs, but this came out blaring at the end, and didn't really feel appropriate.

I'm probably giving this film a worse review than it deserves, since the acting is fantastic, the direction is superb and the film overall is fairly strong, it just wasn't the overwhelming success that some critics would suggest. It was enjoyable based on Western and Coen Brothers standards, but I think I was just expecting more out of the execution.
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