True Grit (minor spoilers)

by Jonah Goldberg

I saw it with the missus and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I have some “buts.”

I had heard about it being a departure for the Coen brothers in that it’s a mainstream “Hollywood” movie, but I found it to be a thoroughly Coenic affair. Like Miller’s Crossing or Raising Arizona, you find yourself listening to the movie more than watching it at times. The language transcends mere dialogue.

The downside is that it can be distracting, at least for me. I find myself watching the movie as a Coen brothers movie rather than as just a movie. It takes you out of the experience, a little.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone so I’ll be vague here. But I also didn’t consider the movie to be all that feel-good. It may not have been as much of a sobering existential downer as No Country for Old Men (which I loved, by the way). But you do get the sense that at least one point of the film is to show how the America grinds vivacious souls containing True Grit into, well, true grit.

Still, it’s very much worth seeing.

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