By Mike Gillis
The Coen Brothers' take on the John Wayne classic, "True Grit," is mentioned in the post below as one of the movies we're looking forward to seeing this fall. Now, the first trailer for the film, is out. You can see it right here at the end of this post.
The film stars a stable of stars from earlier Coen Brothers outings, including Jeff Bridges and Josh Brolin, as well as Matt Damon and newcomer Hallie Steinfeld, who plays Mattie, the young girl who hires damaged U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Bridges in this version, Wayne in the original) to avenge the death of her father.
It's clear from the trailer the Coen Brothers are taking a... grittier approach, which, to me, suits their style (some will argue over stylized). Bridges certainly has big shoes to fill -- Wayne won an Oscar for his performance in the 1969 original -- but that seems to be no bother. Bridges is a fantastic and remarkably versatile actor. His roles, which span a wide spectrum from comedy to misery, are always more interesting and richer under his care. Pair up films like "Fearless" and "The Big Lebowski" and you'll wonder if the two Bridges are the same.
Although I would agree with the minority who maintain "No Country for Old Men" is not their most solid work -- other Coen Brothers films like "Miller's Crossing" and "A Serious Man" are better, if not nearly perfect -- I can't say it's a bad movie. That said, I think the Coen Brothers were a bit saddled by that film. All Coen Brothers films veer into black comedy, but "No Country" seemed to relish in the black a bit too much, at the expense of the narrative.
"True Grit," if one is to judge from the snippet here, may be the picture that synthesizes what the brothers do so well: character, homage, story and style.
What do you think?
See the teaser trailer here: