“True Grit” Why isn’t it Nominated?

Genres: Action/Adventure, Western, Adaptation and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Release Date: December 22nd, 2010 (limited)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images.
Distributors: Paramount Pictures


Director: Ethan & Joel Cohen

JJ Rating: A

See it again: Yes.
Own it: Yes, surely.
Recommend it to: Those that like Westerns and enjoyed the original.


Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) is after her father’s killer. She ends up having the help of a Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) and Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a one-eye grump. The trio head off to follow the trail of Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). With Mattie’s determination of fire, LaBoeuf’s persistent tongue and Cogburn’s grumption they create a dry humor adventure for the lovers of sarcasm and bite. True Grit.

I was on the same row at the theater as a black man who had, it seemed, the time of his life laughing up a storm. I, too, laughed up a storm. I enjoyed hearing him laugh, knowing I wasn’t the only one that caught a funny moment. There are many moments that fly over so many people’s heads in the audience, it’s ridiculous. I sit through movies like that and wonder why is no one laughing with me? Am I really that quick that others cannot pick it up as well?

True Grit’s humor is dry and quick. If you don’t pay attention to the words, you miss a lot. I don’t know why that’s so hard. On the other hand, maybe people are becoming dull witted and they are not as smart as they use to be. Maybe that’s because I’m a great witted person that isn’t like on a writer’s forum called Absolute BS (meaning Bully Stasi) Write. I know that bully Stasi is redundant, but so what.

I have a love hate relationship with the Cohens. I love them and then I hate them. Sometimes what they try to do falls flat but people are foolish enough to love something that will be lost in obscurity in years to come. I really love the script. It came to life.

It came to life because of Jeff Bridges, Haliee Steinfeld and Matt Damon. Bridges is just a force. He scratches his gut, burps and he does more in that then some actors do with an entire hour and a half in ballet shoes. Yes, yes I did go there. (Really, this isn’t a hit at her as much as it’s a hit in the gut to those that fawn over her too much for something I’m sure she doesn’t see as great as they do and that makes me like her more). Damon shows his pain a lot. His ability to play hurt and garner sympathy is magic. Steinfeld demanding money and payment for horses with that middle-aged man was a scene for the ages. Not to mention her holding her own with Damon while she lay in bed. The back and forth could only be described as perfection of the imperfect characters that gives the story bite and punch. Bridges and she go at it a few times and one of the better times, she’s up a tree and he tells her to cut the rope. Vague, sure, but funny as hell in the film.

I’m thinking about the movie again and laughing. It is one of the better films this year and I’ve yet to see it on anyone’s list. They list that Black Duck movie and I don’t get it.

True Grit is the only other movie that has a script that cannot be ignored. The other, of course, is The Social Network. People will ask what about Inception and I’d state that Inception is a great concept with great actors and a good script with lots and lots of attention to detail, but the script isn’t the powerful hitter. In True Grit and The Social Network, the script shares the stage with the actors while in True Grit, the score takes a backseat and in The Social Network, the acting takes a backseat. Acting, because the actors all did great as they should, but no one stood out as better than the others or preformed so great they outshined anyone. It’s hard for a movie to hit a homerun in all categories. Anyway, it’s a matter of perception.

True Grit is as good as the first one? I don’t know. I have yet to see the first one. I plan on it. I heard that the ending is different. I’d like to see why. Not that it would overshadow how amazingly wicked I think this one is. I’m stubborn like that. Adios.

I write like: Stephen King

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