True Grit Review by Jamie Gilcig – Coen’s Shoot Em Dead Eye – Sure Oscar Gold – You have got to see this film! – January 28, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – To some John Wayne purists making a remake of True Grit is sacrilege.  Even today the Duke still is a huge presence in our culture and film history.

The Coen Brothers didn’t so much as do a remake of True Grit any more than Baz Lurhman’s Romeo & Juliet was a remake of the Zefferelli movie.

Yes, the Coen’s trademark film mastery is present, but there’s more to this film.   The cadence of the script is a remarkable and huge task to consistently play through the film.   The rawness of the west and some of the harsh and cruel realities scream across the screen.

This isn’t about happy endings and traditional Horse Soaps.   This is about taking the Shakespearean Zeitgeist and applying it to Americana’s finest tradition; the Western.

The acting is superb.  While Jeff Bridges will be an odds on fave to win best actor again it was the non Kim Darby annoying performance of  Hailee Steinfeld that stole this picture.    I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a high octane list of nominees for Best Supporting actress for this year’s Oscar’s but certainly Ms Steinfeld has to be a fan favorite for an award that favours newcomers like Tatum O’Neil in Paper Moon.

The magic of character that evolves through a 14 year old girl losing her father to her emotional arc between The Reuben Cogburn character and the Matt Damon Texas Ranger truly was spectacular.    I won’t give anything away, but the ending was superb.

This movie shows you don’t need 3D or talking rats to entertain and fulfill a movie audience.

It’s been a superb year for films with character in 2010 which is amazing for lovers of film and really hard for Oscar selections.

I highly recommend True Grit.  Kudos the Coen’s and the entire cast and crew for making film magic!


Jamie Gilcig is a screenwriter and film producer.   His first creation to make it to film ended up being nominated for the 2003 Oscar for Best Feature Documentary; Prisoner of Paradise.

Eight Zero Zero


  1. While the remake of true grit was good. As a western move fan thats were i would rate it (good).For me it doesn,t even come close to movies like unforgiven,tombstone or open range.

  2. My husband and me saw the movie True Grit and it was good, I would give it 8.5/10. The only thing that remotely bothered me was the girl coming across the river on her horse and comes out dry. Go figure

  3. luckyred, I could not agree more with Unforgiven and while I loved Tombstone when it was released, have you seen it lately? It seems like one that just doesn’t hold up over the years. Can’t wait to see the Coen’s Grit and having seen the Duke’s recently I think it is a perfect time for an update.

  4. That’s pretty funny, Tammy. I’m not a big movie watcher, but I’ve never seen a “western” that showed people with bad teeth or horses that poop.

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