‘True Grit’ Brings Back the Western

The remake of the western True Grit, by filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen is gaining momentum in the lead up to the Oscar nominations. Although it did not win at the Golden Globes, the film has garnered praise from film critics who hail it as a high-caliber western – much better than the original, which came out in the late 1960s.

The Coen brothers on-screen adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel is a classic American western tale of vengeance and guts. It’s a much more faithful rendition than the 1968 production which was tailored to fit John Wayne’s persona more than the chararacter of Rooster Cogburn. Despite a lackluster performance, Wayne received an Oscar for best actor in 1969 for his interpretation of the hefty marshal.

The new True Grit exudes nostalgia for old western notions of bravado, justice and blood lust for vengeance. The story is good but not as gripping as the Coen brothers’ character-driven drama, No Country For Old Men.

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