Tag Archive: true grit


The Academy Awards telecast is tomorrow. Here is who I think will take top honors:

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Oscar punditry isn’t an exact science, but it’s close. As the years go by, nearly two months of precursors are more and more accurately distilled into predictions, removing most of the suspense on the morning of Oscar nominations. Some of this year’s choices were more surprising than others (Javier Bardem in Biutiful, John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone), but every single one was mentioned at at least one stop on the Oscar campaign highway. These days, the Oscars feel more like the victory lap than the race.

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Dir. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
(2010, PG-13, 110 min)
★ ★ ★

My favorite scenes in True Grit are the battles of wits involving Hailee Steinfeld, in a breakthrough performance as 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who consistently proves to be of sharper mind than her older male counterparts, who talk down to her only to have her talk down right back. The Coen brothers wrote and directed, adapting a novel by Charles Portis that was previously made into a 1969 film starring John Wayne, and they give her rich, dense dialogue that she fires with the precision of an expert gunslinger and with such poise and confidence that we know immediately that Mattie can get the better of anyone.

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