Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

True Grit

Went to see this because many diverse friends said they enjoyed it, and thought Hailee Steinfeld, who played Mattie, should have won an Oscar. I also went on the theory that maybe a remake of the 1969 film with actual actors (Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon) in the leads instead of John Wayne and Glenn Campbell ought to be a lot better.

It wasn't.

I found Hailee's acting stilted, forced and uninspired. I've been onstage with 14-year-olds with far more talent. The awkward script did not help. It did not help any of the characters. Cinematography was better in the 1969 movie, so was location selection.

Jeff Bridges made the same mistake John Wayne had made - he was over the top in all the character scenes. The only part I enjoyed was his courtroom scene toward the start of the movie. Wayne won an Oscar for his role, ostensibly, but most of the industry will tell you it was more of a lifetime achievement award than a best actor award, and Richard Burton was robbed that year. Not that Burton needed another award at that point. But I digress.

Matt Damon is one of my all time favorite actors, starting with his brilliant work in Good Will Hunting. The role of Le Boeuf did not fit him at all, and he mostly phoned it in. I don't think he believed a single word his character uttered.

It does not surprise me that with 10 nominations, this movie went home empty-handed.

I did enjoy Barry Pepper's portrayal of bad guy Ned Pepper. It was too small a role for any kind of nomination, and his costume was ridiculous, but he impressed me. Speaking of costumes, it looked like they just grabbed random pseudo-period pieces off the racks and threw them indiscriminately at the actors.

The score was nondescript, at least it wasn't annoying and did not make the film any less enjoyable.

All in all, not worth matinée price. I should have waited for it to be on Netflix streaming in a year or two.

Tags: movies, review

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