On Wednesday I headed out with John to go and see the new adaption of the novel True Grit. If I’m honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but found myself watching a gripping tale in a beautifully realised wild west locale, it’s certainly safe to say that I enjoyed myself a lot more than I expected too.
The acting was superb – Hailee Steinfeld was really good taking you into the film and guiding you through the journey taken – I felt for this character and enjoyed seeing them develop over the film. When Matt Damon first appeared playing LaBoeuf I didn’t recognise him at first – he does really appear to inhabit those roles giving a very nuanced performance. Jeff Bridges was also fantastic as the grizzled US Marshal Rooster Cogburn though at times appeared to mumble his lines which made it somewhat harder to follow what he was talking about.
This was one of my problems with the film – the film is shot with all the actors talking in the correct accent and at times this could be harder to understand – Jeff Bridges especially could get lost in such a thick accent you lost his words. Still to me this is a minor quibble as the film does make large efforts to inhabit the time period it was set in. I thought that some of the language used by Mattie Ross was utterly beautiful and really helped feel that you were witnessing a different time zone.
The other problem I had with the film was in a sequence towards the end of the film involving a racing horse. The camera work is clever here coming in really close to the riders, but at the same time the background comes across as somewhat fake – it looks like this was shot on blue-screen or generated somehow which is a shame considering how good the rest of the film looks.
The music of the film was utterly fantastic – it really captured the feel of the film and era well – apparently this was based on the tunes of some old hymns and it certainly gives the film a more grandiose nature. Played on a full orchestra, when combined with the period vistas it’s just a really beautiful sight.
So overall I really enjoyed the film and found that it challenged in new and different ways – while there were niggles at points the rest of the film more than makes up for these and I’d strongly recommend it if you get the chance to see it.