True Grit (2010)

Oh god/dess, that fucking dialogue. I think I’ve managed to establish myself as generally not being a Coen Brothers fan, and accordingly I didn’t really have great expectations of this one by them (one of those films I’ve seen mainly cos it was generally widely acclaimed, and it’s on an assortment of ICheckMovies lists). I’d say those low expectations were kind of met, although I was less appalled by the whole thing than Rex Reed seems to have been… I’ve actually never seen the 1969 version with John Wayne, so I’m not invested in it in the way other folk might be and had no particular beef with the idea of it being remade (whereas I did resent the Coens for remaking The Ladykillers). Anyway, I recall them insisting it wasn’t really a remake but a new adaptation of the novel, so whatever… brother Rex seems to find this part of the problem, preferring the earlier film’s “whittling” of the book (even though the new film is actually shorter), although I think what he says about not much going on isn’t far off the mark; the material seemed kind of thin when I was watching it, and a tighter 80-90 minute film could’ve been better. But we’d still have the dialogue to contend with. Mostly taken straight from Charles Portis’ novel, it is teeth-grinding shit that I literally couldn’t believe a word of. It has the feeling of being translated from another language entirely into the sort of formalised written English someone might learn at school as opposed to the sort of language people actually speak (the child Mattie gets some of the worst lines, although none of the characters are well served by the rubbish they have to say), and it presented a frankly insuperable barrier to my actually engaging with the film. Not that I normally feel engaged by the Coens, but this time I was even less swept up than usual…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s