Now that Oscar season has come and gone, we can all relax a bit and not drown in the complete saturation. On movies, I’m simply able to reflect more clearly. One opportunity came recently, after pondering TRUE GRIT and watching Jeff Bridges do his friendly guy thing on the red carpet– I popped in THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and gave it a whirl (Criterion released it on blu-ray in December). I reflected – what a career Jeff Bridges has had. And what an ensemble cast – particularly the wonderful Timothy Bottoms. It’s worth going back to.
I can’t speak to whether the Coen brothers’ TRUE GRIT is as faithful to the book as they claim, but if it is I’d be interested to see how author Charles Portis handles a grueling revenge story brought to a not so thrilling end followed by an abrupt 25-year flash forward and a less than satisfying conclusion. Despite great performances from the five lead actors and the efforts of two of the best filmmakers working today, this version of TRUE GRIT lacks the heart at the core of the 1969 film adaptation, not to mention the gratification an audience is due when the object of a burning revenge is shot dead.