I was prepared to hate it. Could they really, really do any better than an overweight, one-eyed John Wayne, reins in his teeth and a six-gun in each mitt,* growling, "Fill yer hand, you sonovab!tch!" It seemed unlikely.
I was wrong. The big-name actors dissolve into their characters in a manner seldom seen and the actress who plays Mattie does the same. Even in the 1969 film, the very strong story (from the Charles Portis novel) overshadowed the actors; the Coen Brothers production revels in it (and perhaps they should, given what passes for a plot in many recent films).
More penny dreadful than character study -- but a marvelous penny dreadful! -- True Grit is a well-produced, satisfying film, right down to the iconic scene.
It's a treat for a gunnie, too: remembering the original film (he must've had Dardicks) , I was counting Rooster Cogburn's shots. Two six-guns -- and, yep, ten shots.
Worth seeing in the theatre; sets and scenery, photography and attention to detail help make the film a gem.
* Except he didn't. Commenter Tony Muhlenkamp correctly pointed out that The Duke had a revolver in one hand and a repeating rifle in the other. So now I have to hunt up the clip and count his shots.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
3 days ago