True Grit (2011) review by Rosa Powell
In 1970, John Wayne won his only Oscar, playing Rooster Cogburn in the first film of True Grit, originally a book written by Charles Portis in 1968. This might have given the Coen Brothers a bit of pressure when they brought their adaptation of the book to the screen late last year.
They did not live up to its reputation. A western classic given a modern re-imaging, the story follows Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld with a promising performance), who hires Rooster Cogburn (an incoherent Jeff Bridges) to avenge her fathers murder. The plot seems simple enough, although the Coens script runs away with itself, taking the pace at 100mph. Is this good? Not at all. The film, although at a running length at 1hr 45mins, the film feels over quite quickly. The compulsion for a Hollywood movie seems to have spoiled True Grit, and personally I was confused with the comings and goings of LeBoeuf (Matt Damon).
The film was quite enjoyable, but if you stop and dissect it like I just did, you realise that this was not one of the best films at the 2011 Awards Season. I hoped for something amazing, as I did not enjoy one of their previous works, Born After Reading, alas I was let down.