Sunday, 13 February 2011


Okay...I admit it. I like cowboy movies. But this doesn't take anything away from the brilliance that is the Coen brothers' 'True Grit'. This film is a masterpiece and that is not an accolade I bandy around easily.

Without doubt this is the best film I have seen in...oh,, ten years. It's that good. There are SO many good things about it.

It is worth seeing (or hearing, rather) simply for its dialogue. The charm, the concerns and the mores of late nineteenth century America are wonderfully recreated by the speech and the vocabulary used by the characters, and their unemotional, matter-of-fact attitudes to death, disfigurement and misfortune brilliantly portrayed. But when this dialogue is given to some truly wonderful actors then magic happens and you are transported back in time. And the acting IS wonderful. Much has been made of Jeff Bridges' Rooster (and he is marvellous) but to my mind Matt Damon as the repellent Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf, is the stand-out performance, though, I suppose, it has to be said that Hailee Stenfeld as Mattie Ross is also terrific. Truth be told, there isn't a weak turn in the entire cast.

But in the end it's the attention to detail that won me over: Rooster's bed at the back of the Chinese eating house; the state of Ned Pepper's teeth; that Mattie was knocked backwards by the recoil of her revolver...the list could go on and on and on. But together these, the dialogue, the acting the wardrobe and the cinematography created a realism that was quite irresistible.

Good though 'The King's Speech' was if  'True Grit' doesn't win the Oscars for 'Best Film' and 'Best Director' there's something seriously wrong in the state of Denmark.

You've got to see this movie!

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