The shooting star is back

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 March, 2011, 12:00am

Shortly after this year's Oscar nominations were announced, the Coen brothers said: 'Ten seems like an awful lot. We don't want to take anyone else's.' It turns out they stuck to their word, walking away with zero awards for True Grit.

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to capture Tom Cheney (Josh Brolin), the man who murdered her father. Meanwhile, Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) is also hot on Cheney's trail, and the trio set out to capture the fugitive.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Portis. It's hard to imagine this is Steinfeld's film debut. She plays the role of sharp-tongued, unflappable Mattie beautifully, combining a grown-up demeanour with true grit.

It's no wonder True Grit was nominated for an Oscar for cinematography. The shots are simply superb, evoking memories of classic Westerns of the past. You get those wonderful shots where the camera is positioned slightly behind and below the holster of a cowboy. You also get those extreme long shots that make characters seem like a tiny speck in the rough landscape.

The Coen brothers were unable to replicate the Oscar success of the 1969 original starring John Wayne, but the film is still a must see, even though the glory days of the gunslingers are long gone.

Contains scenes of violence