Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The Coen Brothers rarely do wrong in my book (THE LADYKILLERS might be their one misstep, and yes, I did like A SERIOUS MAN, I'm standing by that) and TRUE GRIT was no exception. While I didn't love it enough for it to crack the Top 5 of 2010, I still loved it from start to finish. That probably has to do with three things more than any other.

1) I love Westerns. Something about them has always appealed to me and I watched a ton of them as a kid and appreciate them more now that I'm an adult (or as close to one as possible). The atmosphere, pacing, set design, dialogue—I love it all.

2) Jeff Bridges is fantastic. I would watch him in just about anything even if the rest of the movie was absolute garbage (spoiler alert for the upcoming Tron: Legacy half-assed review). Making him a drunken, one-eyed lawman that doesn't much care about the law as much as justice and you've got yourself a winner. He should be in more movies, but I'm glad he picks and chooses carefully.

3) Matt Damon. I don't care what anyone else says, I still think Matt Damon is great most of the time and he killed it here.

Add all three of those together and you've already got one hell of a movie. You probably wouldn't even need to try very hard to make it at least watchable with all that going for you. But the Coen's were able to find even more with TRUE GRIT. They've got a great story (that has surprisingly more heart than probably any of their others movies) and a fantastic young actor, Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, to push it over the top. I loved it from start to finish.

Can't wait for the next Coen Brothers movie. There are a bunch of projects that they've alluded to in the past but haven't ever materialized for one reason or another. HAIL CAESAR, about a matinee idol trying to make a biblical epic, set around the same time period or just after O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?, is one. TO THE WHITE SEA, about a WWII bomber shot down over Tokyo is another. Brad Pitt was supposed to star, but they couldn't ever get a budget that would realize what they had in mind. An adaptation of Michael Chabon's THE YIDDISH POLICEMAN'S UNION is probably the best bet for their next one, but that's also been rumored for a while.

There are a couple of screenplays they wrote floating around too (a remake of the heist film GAMBIT and one called SUBURICON), but no one is entirely sure what's happening there.

Whatever they do though, I'm expecting great things.

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