True Grit reviews

User avatar
rolotomasi99
Associate
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:13 pm
Location: n/a
Contact:

Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:45 am

The Original BJ wrote:I feel like a broken record with this category fraud nonsense every year, but it feels like it's only becoming more and more ridiculous.

When I make my own personal list of who I think should be nominated from the year's movies, I just list the top ten performances with no distinction of gender or size of the role. I think this is how the Academy should do it, though I know they never will.
"When it comes to the subject of torture, I trust a woman who was married to James Cameron for three years."
-- Amy Poehler in praise of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4192
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:24 pm

flipp525 wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:
rolotomasi99 wrote:I definitely think Hailee is going to win the Supporting Actress Oscar.

I pray to God this does not happen.

Is Steinfeld your Casey Affleck this year, BJ ;)

At least I thought Casey Affleck was amazing. I think Steinfeld is fine but I wouldn't even consider nominating her, and the possibility that she could beat some really impressive SUPPORTING actresses like Adams, Leo, and Weaver (who I've just accepted is going to be snubbed) is really sad.

I feel like a broken record with this category fraud nonsense every year, but it feels like it's only becoming more and more ridiculous.

Bog
Assistant
Posts: 820
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:39 am
Location: United States

Postby Bog » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:18 pm

I promise I'll leave this one to you BJ....since Affleck though and slightly influenced by Eric, I've become an advocate of "best performance" not separated into lead and support.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7383
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:14 pm

I'm starting to think that Steinfeld could win in support as well. It's looking like her competition will be Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, and either Mila Kunis or Jacki Weaver. The latter two don't have a chance. And I don't believe that Adams, Carter, or Leo have that awesome scene to take them over the top. Steinfeld is the rock solid heart of a film that is now more successfully and likely more revered than all others.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5829
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:07 pm

The Original BJ wrote:
rolotomasi99 wrote:I definitely think Hailee is going to win the Supporting Actress Oscar.

I pray to God this does not happen.

Is Steinfeld your Casey Affleck this year, BJ ;)
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4192
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:33 pm

rolotomasi99 wrote:I definitely think Hailee is going to win the Supporting Actress Oscar.

I pray to God this does not happen.

User avatar
rolotomasi99
Associate
Posts: 1924
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:13 pm
Location: n/a
Contact:

Postby rolotomasi99 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:50 pm

Well I loved it! My favorite Coen drama is MILLER'S CROSSING and my favorite Coen comedy is THE BIG LEBOWSKI. TRUE GRIT was a wonderful combination of the two.

I knew it was going to be beautiful to look at, but I had no idea it would be so witty. Some below have said some of the dialogue comes directly from the book; however, since so much of it sounded perfectly Coen-esque, I am assuming they brought a great deal of their own humor to it.

I loved Hailee Steinfeld. That bartering scene was a thing of beauty. The writing, acting, and even editing were just perfect. I definitely think Hailee is going to win the Supporting Actress Oscar. No clear front runner has emerged, and her character reminds me of the other whip smart little girls who lead to surprise Oscar wins for Tatum O'Neal and Anna Paquin. I hope the she is writing her Oscar speech now.

Roger Deakins should also be preparing some remarks because it seems like this year he will finally win. While his work here is not as beautiful as THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES or KUNDUN, it was wonderful. The opening shot was particularly impressive.

I think the film could easily rack up around 9 nominations including Best Picture, and go on to win the two I just mentioned. I would be absolutely fine with the film winning Best Picture, since it is as good as anything else up for consideration. However, I sense the race is still between THE KING'S SPEECH and THE SOCIAL NETWORK.

I am not sure why people (elsewhere) seem to be complaining because it was not as quirky as they have come to expect from the Coens. It is just like the folks who dismiss THE AGE OF INNOCENCE and THE AVIATOR as lesser-Scorsese simply because they are not as dark and violent as his usual fare.
"When it comes to the subject of torture, I trust a woman who was married to James Cameron for three years."
-- Amy Poehler in praise of Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow

The Original BJ
Emeritus
Posts: 4192
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:49 pm

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:50 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Question for those who liked the film more than I: did you emerge from the theatre thinking Jeff Bridges must be a best actor nominee?

I liked Bridges more than you did, but I agree that the recent career momentum for him (much like Renner in The Town) is propelling the actor to more awards recognition than he might have otherwise received. Also, I think the fact that True Grit is a late-December opening is goosing its award prospects, too. Nathaniel at The Film Experience has argued that, had True Grit opened in the spring, it would be viewed as something more like The Ghost Writer -- a classy genre piece -- rather than a candidate for major awards. The fact that it's opened solidly just at the moment when awards are on everyone's tongues has put it more firmly into the race, I think.

Having seen all the Best Actor contenders, I would be fine with a nomination for Jeff Bridges this year. But I also wouldn't be upset if some of the other guys fighting for those last spots (Duvall, Gosling, Wahlberg) made it in instead.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15697
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:38 pm

The Coen Bros. film is based on Charles Portis' 1968 novel, which it follows very closely. The strong-willed heroine was criticized at the time as being a creature of 1960, not the 1880s or whenever the film is set. The Coens claim not to have seen the 1969 version.

Marguerite Roberts' screenplay for the 1969 version also follows the book quite closely - she adds an opening scene and changes the ending of the novel, but that's about it.

An interesting irony to the 1969 version is that the producers were concerned not only that John Wayne would not accept the part of Rooster Cogburn because it was written by a blacklisted writer, but that he wouldn't even read the screenplay. He not only read it, but declared it the best written western in years. So here we have Hollywood's most virulent anti-Communist winning a long overdue Oscar for a screenplay written by someone that he would have considered an enemy just a few years earlier .

Wayne galloping over the fence at the end was improvised. Since Wayne played the character larger than life, it was appropriate for the film. It would not have been appropriate for Jeff Bridges, who plays Rooster as more of an ordinary man.

I don't think he is a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination by any means, even if he hadn't won last year.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6476
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:18 pm

dws1982 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:But I think it goes deeper: I found myself wondering just why this story needed to be told, let alone told twice. It doesn't seem to have any deeper resonance than a simple yarn.

A blogger over at the New York Times disagrees on that point. Not sure that I totally agree with him, but his piece is intriguing enough that I'll try to give it another look when it hits the second run theaters.

I pretty much see the things Fish sees in the film (it's what I essentially meant by the catchall "determinism"). I just don't think being infused with that philosophic outlook makes the film any more insightful or interesting. For me, No Country for Old Men had much the same overlay, but far more narrative invention that gave the sense of a more nuanced world. Fish and, I'm presuming, you, would feel different.

It may be just an issue I have with westerns in general. The genre as a whole depends on a structure so determinedly classical that, to me, it nearly always feels thin if not derivative. Clearly there are exceptions -- among the old-timers, I'm quite fond of My Darling Clementine and Red River, and in recent times Unforgiven and The Assassination of Jesse James... have featured the nuance and novelty I look for in fresh art. But by and large westerns affect me like True Grit did: however well-made I find them, they fail to reach me where I live esthetically, because the reliance on tradition feels all too often like retread to me.

Thinking about the film a day later: You could make the case the Coens have remade the original from the point of view of the Kim Darby character. Which is quite a change. Younger folk may think the late 60s was the dawn of feminism, but, in fact, that was a late tack-on to the revolutions of the era; in 1969, a heroine, however assertive, was still thought to need rescue by a big strong man in the end. Here, you get the sense Steinfeld's Mattie carries the male characters along rather than vice versa (which did make her barely-resistant kidnapping by Cheney/Pepper the film's weakest moment, for me).

Question for those who liked the film more than I: did you emerge from the theatre thinking Jeff Bridges must be a best actor nominee? I found him so recessive -- near to the point of not making an impression -- that I wonder, if it weren't Jeff Bridges who's on a hot roll, in a part that already won an Oscar, if people would even be talking abut him in a year with plenty of dominant male performances. Or is that just my lukewarm reaction to the film talking?

Oh, and yes: welcome back, Leeder!




Edited By Mister Tee on 1293920366

Leeder
Graduate
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:05 pm
Location: Calgary, AB

Postby Leeder » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:35 am

Damien wrote:Hey, Murray. Long time no see Welcome back!

Thanks Damien! I lurk here frequently and really ought to make a point of posting more often.

User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:40 am

Hey, Murray. Long time no see Welcome back!
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

Leeder
Graduate
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:05 pm
Location: Calgary, AB

Postby Leeder » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:23 am

dws1982 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:But I think it goes deeper: I found myself wondering just why this story needed to be told, let alone told twice. It doesn't seem to have any deeper resonance than a simple yarn.

A blogger over at the New York Times disagrees on that point. Not sure that I totally agree with him, but his piece is intriguing enough that I'll try to give it another look when it hits the second run theaters.

Stanley Fish is more than a blogger... he's one of the most important literary theorists of the 20th century.

dws1982
Tenured
Posts: 2989
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:28 pm
Location: AL
Contact:

Postby dws1982 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:22 pm

Mister Tee wrote:But I think it goes deeper: I found myself wondering just why this story needed to be told, let alone told twice. It doesn't seem to have any deeper resonance than a simple yarn.

A blogger over at the New York Times disagrees on that point. Not sure that I totally agree with him, but his piece is intriguing enough that I'll try to give it another look when it hits the second run theaters.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6476
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:06 pm

Having expressed my overall enthusiasm for this year's Oscar crop, I now have to deal with something of a disappointment.

It's not that I find anything especially wrong with this new version of True Grit. It's immaculately crafted, with stong dialogue and generally solid, occasionally striking visuals. But much of it left me fairly cold. I really liked the whole set-up sequence -- which felt alot more elaborate than my memory of the '69 film -- but, once our characters crossed the river, it turned into a series of not all that interesting vignettes knit around a pretty thin story. Part of my problem may be the misgiving I expressed here a while back -- simple familiarity with (if only hazy memory of) the story. But I think it goes deeper: I found myself wondering just why this story needed to be told, let alone told twice. It doesn't seem to have any deeper resonance than a simple yarn. So, while I can admire the details and craft, I don't have any attachment to it.

As for comparing it to the earlier film -- my recollection of it is as something pretty minor except for the attention-getting legendary performance. I imagine Charles Portis would be more pleased with this version, as it feels more dedicated and serious, rather than the verging-on-spoof the Hathaway film was. But I wonder which approach really works better. Given how flimsy (for me) the content is, I might appreciate it better as light-hearted entertainment than as grim Old West determinism.

The primary reason to see this version is for the Steinfeld performance. She's clearly the central focus of the film, and a quantum improvement over the early version (Magilla, I don't know where your Darby nostalgia comes from, but I'd recommened storing it somewhere with Katharine Houghton memories). It's she who makes those early sequences so promising, and even keeps the rest of the film afloat, if on a lesser level. If she's competing for an Oscar, it'd disgraceful for it to be anywhere but under best actress. She's far more deserving than Jeff Bridges who, though he makes a fine effort, mutters too damn much, and, for me, almost recedes into the background -- which is a shock considering how Wayne took command of the screen.

I can't say a best picture nomination would disturb me horribly -- it's good enough for a field of 10. But for it to take one of the more precious directing slots, let alone (as David Poland is quixotically promoting) to become the best picture front-runner, would be to deny more deserving efforts recognition.




Edited By Mister Tee on 1293840081


Return to “2010”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest