It was all about old versus new back when the Coen remake of True Grit hit the big screen (see my thoughts here), but after determining that the two are both excellent yarns about a drunken bounty hunter it’s now all about second viewings versus original perception. Draw!
The Coen Brothers True Grit took the John Wayne classic and gave it a new bleaker shade of paint and a few extra pieces bolted onto the simple tale of the young girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) going on an adventure with drunken Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texas Ranger LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) to find the man who killed her father. It’s a rather traditional Western tale, but one with characters who have real true grit. Just shoeing it in there.
It lacks many of the unusual quirks seen in the Coen’s other works, but it shows they can still deliver a great film when they play things straight. Cogburn is easier to understand on a second viewing, no longer so incomprehensible as he talks through his beard. It’s a success and while remaining close to the original, it manages to stand for itself as a quality movie which doesn’t rely so much on being cool, but showing the naivety of a young girl trying to take charge in the dangerous wild west and a has been cowboy drowning in whiskey. The romance isn’t always as glamorous as envisioned.