After reviewing both No Country for Old Men and O Brother, Where Art Thou? I figured I might as well throw this one up as well, seeing as the films have a very similar visual aesthetic. True Grit is a Coen Brothers remake of the original 1969 version that got John Wayne his only Oscar. Did the film need to be remade? Not really. Is this film still a wonderful piece of work that more than matches up to the original? Absolutely.
The Coens have taken their “amber” visual style and used it to full effect here, creating a moody and intensely rustic atmosphere that pervades through the entire film and washes out into the audience. You really feel like you’re there, which is the best any cinematographer can hope to do with his work; full points here. Jeff Bridges is the new Rooster Cogburn, and his own take on the character is beautifully surly and rugged. The real star, though, is young Hailee Steinfeld, who steals the show even from the veteran actors every time she appears.
Even fans of the original will definitely want to check this one out, though it may be a bit samey due to its similarities with the 1969 film. If you haven’t seen the original, don’t feel like you’re shortchanging by seeing this one instead; it is definitely worth the watch either way.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10