The Coen Brothers take on a John Wayne classic with True Grit remake

This Christmas Ethan and Joel Coen, the award winning sibling directing and writing team behind such classics as No Country For Old Men and The Big Lebowski, take their first crack at the western genre with their adaptation of the Charles Portis novel, True Grit.

True Grit is the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield), a young farm girl that sets out to track down her father’s murderer, hired hand Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Along the way Mattie enlist the help of U.S. Marshall Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). Not sure if she can quite trust the heavy drinking Rooster to get the job done, Mattie insists in joining him. Along the way Rooster and Mattie are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who has his own reasons for wanting Chaney.

With True Grit being a remake of the classic John Wayne film of the same name, the buzz has been high for quite some time. Many fans of the Duke consider it down right blasphemous to remake one of, if not the, most classic Wayne film. Then you have the other side of the spectrum that are very interested in seeing what approach the Coen Brothers take with this story. I’m part of the later.

This is the Coen Brothers were talking about here, so hopes are high. They’ve put together a fantastic cast with both Brolin and Bridges having previously worked with Ethan and Joel on some of their best work. Damon and Steinfeld are the wild cards here, especially Steinfeld. This version of True Grit looks to be more from Mattie’s perspective, so the performance of Steinfeld is definitely something to keep an eye on.

That leads me to my next point of this latest work from the Coens being less of a remake of the original film and more of a different adaptation of the same story. Your opinions and views on the John Wayne classic should have little to no impact on the upcoming version and vice versa.

This is a movie I’ve been anticipating for quite some time now and the release of the trailer has only heightened that anticipation. True Grit is sure to get some Oscar buzz right away and what we’ve seen so far is a good indication as to why. Just from the small sample, the visuals look absolutely stunning and the music does a great job of setting a tone and feel. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Coen Brothers end up with some more Academy hardware early next year.

True Grit hits theaters Christmas day.

View the trailer here:

Chris Coffel

My name is Chris Coffel from Phoenix, Arizona. I love film and the Phoenix Suns. I write movie reviews for Trashwire and write about the Phoenix Suns for Downtown Phoenix Journal. I'm also the co-host of a movie podcast focusing on fringe cinema, the Dark of the Matinee. Please subscribe to my show on iTunes. I write about the Suns here: I make movies here: I talk about movies here:

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