I always get excited as soon as a new Coen Brothers trailer is released, and their sneak peek of True Grit was all I hoped for. Atmosphere, tension, Jeff Bridges complete with bad ass eye patch, meant I had to wipe the drool from my chin and find ways to busy myself until its February release.
The feel of the film right from the beginning is one of absolute authenticity. It is enough that you are able to completely immerse yourself into the world of the American West. The visual prowess of the film is one of its strongest aspects. Cinematographer Roger Deakins does a fine job as he captures the beauty of the landscapes and danger of the Great American Plains, and genuinely impresses with the realistic look of absolutely everything in every single shot. In fact, the authentic nature, and the way in which the Western genre is tackled here, is something that feels even better on reflection. True Grit is the perfect creation of a Western and is something you will be left wanting more of after you leave the theatre. It really charms without even being self aware.
As I mentioned, Jeff Bridges is great. A man associated with mesmerising performances (as noted by his Oscar win last year for Crazy Heart) is guaranteed to give a class performance. His interpretation of Cogburn, without feeling the need to base it on Wayne, displays the quality of acting I have come to expect from him. Bridges does a compelling job as he creates a very hostile, real character blended with a sense of humanity as he, albeit slowly, warms to Mattie during various points of peril. However, it is newcomer, Steinfeld, that delivers probably the strongest performance of all. She continually dominates her screen time with such a likeable and assertive performance, it wouldn't be unthinkable for her to nab the Best Supporting Female Oscar. She really is that good.
The dialogue within the setting is an intriguing aspect. Would the Coen's use the contemporary, witty dialogue they are so accustomed to, or would they stay true to the time period and retain absolute authenticity? The screenplay includes dialogue straight from the Portis novel and has an old fashioned, real-to-the-time colloquialism that contains subtle Coenisms that enrich the experience, and add conviction to its intended realism, whilst still remaining a Coen movie.
Sources : Internet Movie Database
Images : Google Images