Monday, December 27, 2010

When Will the Christmas Music Stop?

I stupidly thought that now Christmas is over, it would be a full year before I had to hear those two assholes singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" again. But it's still playing everywhere! Just go home if you want to go home, lady. No need for another drink. At least, don't tell the whole world about it.

The title of this post is completely misleading, because I'm actually finished talking about that, and am going to talk about something else now. Specifically, I'm going to talk about the movie True Grit, because it's really pretty great. Whether you like westerns or not, you'll appreciate this one, which parodies the genre really well but is also completely true to it. Jeff Bridges is really funny, and there's this little girl in the movie too who totally nailed her role and is hilarious. There's this one part where Jeff is having some trouble rolling a cigarette so she just grabs the thing and does it for him, and then says, "Your makings are too dry." Ha! You tell him, sister.

The premise of this movie, which is a remake of an old one that starred John Wayne, is simple: a fourteen-year-old girl sets out to avenge her father's murder, employing a supremely grubby old marshall (Jeff in this one) whom she says has "true grit" to lead her into the wild west to find the murderer - but of course the joke, if you could call it that, is that she's the one with true grit. Matt Damon also shows up as a fellow with a totally inflated sense of pride at being a Texas ranger, and I have to tell you that there is sexual tension between him and the fourteen-year-old, and it's actually not even that creepy or weird. Which just goes to show that this movie is really well-made.

Like Black Swan, which I talked about yesterday, this movie has an imperfect ending, which is a real bummer, because an ending can take a movie from pretty good or even pretty shit to complete and total perfection. Take 500 Days of Summer, for instance. Had the ending been any different, it would have been a completely lame rom com. But because of the ending, it was ingeniously original in its gorgeous simplicity. That may sound melodramatic but it's totally true. And Two Lovers, which not that many people have seen for some reason, but would make an excellent rental, was saved by its ending too.

The Coen brothers are generally good filmmakers but they're not that great with endings. I know everyone likes or at least talks about the ending of No Country for Old Men but it's not that good. Neither is the ending of Burn After Reading, although a pitch-perfect ending would have saved that so-so movie. But True Grit is still way fucking better than Burn.

So go out and see this shit too. And thank me later.


  1. I loved True Grit.

    I'm not sure I have more to say than that... but thanks to your suggestion it was an evening at the movies well spent.