By Sarah Savant
True Grit is not your typical reboot or remake of a classic. With Hollywood turning out remakes of old classics left and right, it’s easy to see how some would categorize this film as old or outdated. WRONG.
Regardless of whether or not you were a fan of the original 1969 Henry Hathaway movie starring John Wayne, True Grit is a breath of fresh air to the recent barrage of computer generated animation or 3D cinematography present in today’s cinema. Stemming off their previous success of No Country For Old Men, Directors, Ethan and Joel Cohen’s version of this classic film, combined with the actor’s depiction of their characters were nothing short of jaw dropping. They successfully drive a stake through the heart of misconceptions that lead today’s society that only state-of-the-art 3D graphics can make good a movie.
There is no denying that Hailee Steinfeld steals the show. She perfected the sass and fight of the14 year-old Mattie Ross so well that it was electrifying. Hell bent on finding her father’s murderer, Tom Chaney, she hires Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall and a drunk, played by Jeff Bridges, to aid in her quest. Also on the hunt for Chaney for a different murder is a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf, played by Matt Damon. Josh Brolin plays Tom Chaney, who recently received a career boost that would make Robert Downey Jr. proud after starring in 2007 film No Country For Old Men.
Many who loved The Duke’s role in the original worried that Bridges may not be up to snuff to take on such a beloved role. Bridges, who is most notably known for his portrayal of the pot smoking, rug aficionado ‘The Dude’ in the Cohen brother’s 1998 cult film The Big Lebowski had not previously been seen cast in such a harsh and beaten character. Bridges, however, does a wonderful job transforming into the firm authority figure Mattie so badly needs. While she is extremely privy to the ways of the world, she soon learns that the world has a darker side and she must adapt or she might put all three of them in grave danger.
As with any remake of a classic film, there will be differences from the original and this film is no different. Some people criticize this and others praise it. It should be stated, though, that the film currently has 10 Oscar nominations. For those who are only interested in a shot-for-shot remake with no creative interpretation, I urge you to Google the reviews to the 1998 remake of the Alfred Hitchcock film “Psycho”.
The Cohen’s adaptation of the film puts a personal spin on the finished product that the Cohen’s are known for but do not distract away from the film’s content unlike some of the films that are being shown today. Go in with an open mind and let yourself be the judge on whether or not you like it.