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Trailer Talk: Coen Brother’s show their True Grit

Trailer Talk: Coen Brother’s show their True Grit

No Country For Teenage Girls
Oct 12, 2010
True Grit
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western Release Date: 20/01/2011 Runtime: 110 minutes Country: USA


Director:  Ethan Coen, Joel Coen Writer(s): 
Joel Coen

Ethan Coen

Charles Portis

Cast: Barry Pepper, Dakin Matthews, Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin,

Traditional Westerns have been a bit of a mixed bag in recent years, there haven’t been very many in the 2000s, and while some like 3:10 to Yuma, The Assassination of Jesse James and Appaloosa have done fairly respectably both critically and commercially, they have not really captured the kind of excitement and momentum that would put the Western back into big leagues of cinema, despite the involvement of big name actors. The few great “Western” successes of the 2000s have not been traditional westerns at all, but almost unique sub-genre spinoffs like There Will Be Blood or Brokeback Mountain. Or they’ve been contemporary Westerns like the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men.

Well, the Coen Brothers have just made the leap from a modern twist on the Western to something very classically Western. The award-winning film-making brothers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man) are back with their latest venture, True Grit, a remake of the 1969 Western of the same name starring John Wayne. The story follows a teenage farm girl in the wild west, Mattie Ross (played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) whose father is murdered by Tom Chaney (played by Josh Brolin). Mattie hires U.S. Marshall Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (played by Jeff Bridges), a tough son-of-a-gun with “true grit”, to help her hunt down her father’s murderer. Rounding off the luminary cast is Matt Damon, who plays Texas Ranger La Boeuf, who is in pursuit of Chaney for his own reasons.

This first teaser trailer has all the signature elements of a Western; the costumes; the gunfights; the set pieces; the dusty brown colour palette; the silhouettes of ‘cowboys’ riding against the backdrop of wide expansive landscapes. But right from the start the trailer feels uncharacteristically dark and edgy in an almost modern way, as a simple haunting song plays throughout the entirety of the teaser. The first images of Mattie are iconic as they are confronting as she picks up a menacing pistol and dons a wide brim hat somewhat too large for her, as she swears to enact vengeance in the voiceover. The rest of the trailer follows in a similar vein, setting up the revenge story and introducing the highly acclaimed cast and of course the legendary Brothers Coen. The result of this experiment in old-school Western cinema remains to be seen, but with as talented filmmakers as the Coen Brothers behind True Grit, this may just be a powerful Oscar-snagging contender and a thrilling film to boot.

The Australian release for True Grit is 20 January 2011.

UPDATE: Watch the new feature trailer below.

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