Monday, January 03, 2011

True Grit

I love that the Coen Brothers are putting out a movie a year these days. There was a six year stretch between The Man Who Wasn't There and No Country For Old Men where they only put out two movies - the horrible Ladykillers and the perplexing Intolerable Cruelty which I have no intention of ever seeing.

At first I thought that this was, for the most part, a pretty straightforward film for the Coen Bros without their usual flourishes. Sure, there was that weird dude near the end making chicken noises. And yeah, that guy on horseback dressed in a bearskin felt very Coen brothersy.

But when I think more about it, I realize that the source material itself is so heavily up the Coens' alley that this was the perfect source material for them to adapt. The dialogue is crazy. I really should read the book so I can more fully savor how oddly biblical, lyrical, and funny it is. At the very least, I want to see the original film. I'm assuming all the corpses hanging from trees and hidden away in caves aren't as frighteningly shot in the original?

Jeff Bridges is like The Dude trying to play John Wayne. I love it. Matt Damon is hilarious as is Josh Brolin. The girl is great as well. Between this and Winter's Bone, 2010 was a good year for films about teenage girls trying to make their way in a treacherous environment.

This reminded me of a number of other films - a bit of Lonesome Dove, a lot of The Naked Spur, and surprisingly a little of the much maligned Cold Mountain.

Even though I couldn't get through The Yiddish Policemen's Union, I am very excited for the Coens' upcoming adapation of it.

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen


Anonymous said...

Not getting through The Yiddish Policemen's Union = lame

read true grit, its like 135 pages

reader larry

Listmaker said...

reader larry

agreed. i should give it another chance.

have you seen the original film or read any of his other books?

Anonymous said...

No and no

reader larry

decaf said...

i'm so glad you liked this. i had put it on hold because i was hearing lots of mixed reviews. i think we have pretty similar tastes in film, so yay! i've got a movie to watch!