True Grit - The Best Picture of 2010

The Coen brothers seem to know what to do with good source material. Their latest work, True Grit, has earned them yet another Oscar nomination for Best Picture in what is starting to feel like an annual event in itself. The film is absolutely deserving of all the recognition having racked up ten nominations in total. While no Coen brothers' movies go out of their way to provide excessively mainstream popcorn entertainment, nearly all of them inhabit a sort of offbeat watch ability and undeniable eye for movie making. True Grit however, is a somewhat more attainable offering for the wider audience while still fitting comfortably into the Coen catalogue.
There's definitely something to be said for movies made by skilled hands. A noticeable level of quality is evident from the start of this film that allows the viewer to sit back and appreciate the experience in a way that many other films will not. Names like Coen, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and even a producing credit for some guy named Spielberg would put one on alert for the disappointment that many movies so loaded with talent often end up being. True Grit perfectly, if not effortlessly, meets the lofty expectations and does so in a way that makes you forget you had any to begin with through a perfect meld of realistic escapism.
Despite all the expert craftsmanship and supporting visuals, the single element that made True Grit a great picture was the performances. The word "performances" is enthusiastically plural here as each and every performance in the movie was exceptional and simultaneously complimentary to each of the others. Jeff Bridges leads the talented cast as Rooster Cogburn; a role made famous by John Wayne in a previous version of the movie from 1969. Bridges is no stranger to the Coens as their previous collaboration The Big Lebowski has grown to become a cult classic. Oscar nominations are also becoming a familiar occurrence for the veteran actor. After winning the Oscar for best actor just last year for his work as Bad Blake in the movie Crazy Heart,Bridges has already secured another best actor Oscar nomination this year for his True Grit role.
Matt Damon also shines in a supporting role. The actor, at first glance, seems somewhat out of place in the western setting, but that fact quickly falls in line with his character of Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper also make the most of their limited screen time. The biggest star of the movie very well may be Hailee Steinfeld. The little newcomer outshined the stars in this one and the Academy recognized her for it as well. Of the many award nominations garnered by the film, hers for Best Supporting Actress may be the most deserving. From the first moment she comes on screen, she owns the film and carries the story expertly as the other characters are just passing through. She was definitely the best supporting actress I watched in any film in 2010 and might've been the difference between True Grit being a good new wave western and being the best picture of 2010.

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