Wednesday, June 08, 2011

TRUE GRIT (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010)


For the first time in years the Coen Brothers shift away from icy, piercing existentialism towards something more traditional, something almost heartwarming until another [haunting] downer of an ending.

This remake of a 1969 John Wayne vehicle (which people remember for no other reason than its sorry-we-ignored-you-for-decades-we'll-ignore-Dustin-Hoffman-this-year Best Actor Oscar) is significantly stronger than the Coens previous shot at a remake (which people remember for no other reason than Tom Hanks playing Gargamel in a suit).

The setup here plays into their strengths: a plucky heroine, a scruffy ne'er-do-well grudgingly doing the right thing, a horde of funny-voiced small-towners and unending opportunities for grisly violence.

It doesn't resonate or obliterate narrative foundations like the Coens' finest, but it's a solid, satisfying yarn.

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