True Grit

My Wife’s grandma watches the Western Channel.  I don’t mean like “she occasionally watches the Western Channel for a quick jaunt down memory lane or because her favorite show was always Bonanza;” I mean all she watches is the Western Channel.  Always and forever.

I wish Jeff Bridges was in more good movies.

I’m not judging.  I think if I had cable I’d probably toggle between Comedy Central, CNN, and the Cartoon Network (but since I don’t, I currently toggle between 30 Rock at 9:30 on Thursday nights and nothing).  But it’s because of her sensibilities that I’m recommending the remake of True Grit.

I’ve always enjoyed the Cohen Brothers’ movies.  I’m not a huge fan and I won’t go see something just because they made it, but for the most part I generally have a pleasurable experience watching something they put together.  True Grit is no different.  I might actually say that True Grit is the perfect movie for these fellas.

In every Cohen Brothers’ movie I’ve ever seen, I get bored.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  I don’t get distracted, I don’t get taken out of the moment, and I don’t look at my watch.  When too much or too little of something is happening (could be wall-to-wall action for 45 minutes or it could be two people sitting in a room discussing politics for 45 minutes) I get distracted; when something happens that is totally unbelievable (could be a form of another suspension of disbelief, it could be a form of a ghost in the machine) I get taken out of the moment; when too much of either one is happening, I look at my watch.  Any one of these things can make for a bad movie.  Me being bored for three minutes isn’t a deal-breaker (often it means that I don’t understand something about the movie and this boring scene is somehow integral).

In every program on the Western Channel, I also get bored; it’s probably because the pace of storytelling back then was much different than it is now.  So when The Brothers decided to remake a western from this slow-paced era, it was a perfect match.  The people speak slowly, the action unfolds slowly, and the characters build slowly.  There are even lots of dissolves that we just don’t see in modern cinema.

I give it three stars (like I give just about every Cohen Brothers’ film).  But for Grandma, I give it four.


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