Didn’t Jeff Bridges win the coveted Oscar for best male lead last year for playing a washed up alcoholic musician? Well, he essentially plays the same character, minus the dramatic love story with a woman 20 years his junior, in the Coen Brother’s newest film, True Grit. Bridges stars as Rooster Cogburn, stubborn US Marshall who sets out to help an overtly precocious 14 year-old-girl, Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld), find the man who murdered her father, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). The dynamic duo is also aided by another bounty hunter, LaBeouf (Matt Damon) who is after the same man.
The film is a remake of a 1969 John Wayne film of the same name. Wayne won his sole Oscar for his performance in the film. Although I have not seen it, it seems that Bridges does not do Wayne justice. The role of a drunken fool is too easily played by Bridges as he doesn’t add anything illuminating to the character. However, the audience can almost smell the whisky seeping from his breath even through the screen.
I had high hopes for this film because it is the Coen Brothers. I was expecting something more akin to No Country for Old Men but the film bares no resemblance. Instead, True Grit is a true western film in the classic Americana sense. Its an entertaining film from a passive standpoint. Lest the gore, it would be a holiday family film. I feel like I needed to get a glass of milk and some Oreos. It’s a predictable nostalgic ride to the simpler times of the 50s and 60s
Why did the Coen Brothers decide to regurgitate a hackneyed dated plot with stereotypical roles? It seems like an odd choice for the brothers who usually bring the quirkiest characters to the screen. It really doesn’t bare the mark of Coen. Altogether, the film is not bad, it is just disappointing if you are going into it expecting a Coen Brothers film.