Last night PJ and I saw the Coen brothers’ new movie, True Grit. This movie, based on the novel, is technically a remake of the John Wayne classic. I have a healthy respect for the original film, and I love several of the Coen brothers’ movies, especially Fargo, Blood Simple, and No Country for Old Men. Here’s the trailer:

Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old whose father has been murdered by Tom Chaney. She wants justice, so she hired Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall, to track him down and bring him back for trial. Jeff Bridges plays Cogburn, also known as the part for which John Wayne won his Oscar. Matt Damon plays LaBeouf, a Texas Ranger who teams up with Cogburn for this job.

A few things stand out about this film. First, Steinfeld is excellent as Ross. She plays the character’s precociousness just right. Ross is intelligent and thinks she knows everything. This “adventure” will prove otherwise. Steinfeld is likely to receive an Oscar nomination for support actress, which is silly, since hers is a lead role. I don’t understand why critics and awards groups go along with the fiction that child actors are de facto supporting performers. Why not just have a separate category for best juvenile performance? Or better yet, why not put them in their real category? If she wins, it will be at the expense of someone who deserves the supporting Oscar — like Annette Bening for her role in The Kids Are All Right — oh, wait … I forgot … she’s in the leading category even though her role is a supporting one ….

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