Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grimy Movie Review: True Grit

This evening we saw True Grit. It displayed no discernible connection to any kind of library, but there was plenty of health stuff going on, given the usual Cohen brothers penchant for offhandly jaw-dropping hideous violence (yet with a sort of upbeat cheeriness, and with such stolidly matter-of-fact characters that you can't help but kind of laugh!).

It's a Western, with a classic washed-out Western color pallet and lots of horses, plains, scrub, and guns. Lots and lots of guns.

I was interested to see how gunfire was repeatedly employed not only in the usual attempts to kill people, but also as a communication device. It makes sense; you use what you have, and a gunshot can be heard over a longer distance than a shout.

Anyway, the story briefly: a 14-year-old girl named Maddie (Hailee Steinfeld) hires a U.S. Marshal (Jeff Bridges) to track down the lowlife who killed her father and stole his horse and his two California gold pieces. A Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) is also on the trail of said lowlife.

So they all set out into the scrubby wilderness, and various humorous and/or horrible shenanigans ensue.

Everyone uses very stilted, formal language, with no contractions whatsoever (not a won't or don't or isn't to be heard), which makes for an interesting film style. I don't know if people actually talked like that back in the 1870s, but it sort of creates a certain mood and sets up a distance from the present time.

It could get kind of old, but the actors pretty much manage to make it work.

It was interesting. Not my favorite movie ever, but entertaining. Very Cohen, if you like their stuff.


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