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Posted at 7:50 PM ET, 09/27/2010

'True Grit' trailer: Three reasons the clip makes us want to see this Coen Brothers film

By Jen Chaney

A short trailer for the Coen Brothers' version of "True Grit" has arrived online, revealing three things (at least) that reinforce the film's must-see status.

1. The epic, Western sweep and gorgeous cinematography are reminiscent of the Coens' "No Country for Old Men." No surprise, since the director of photography is Roger Deakins, a frequent Coen collaborator who also set the visual tone for the aforementioned Anton Chigurh saga.

2. Matt Damon appears in his first major Coen Brothers role -- and he's brought a mean pair of sideburns and a killer 'stache with him.

3. Best of all, Jeff Bridges -- aka the Dude -- is deliciously scraggly as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, the role played by John Wayne in the 1969 original. He doesn't have a White Russian in his hand. But he has an eye patch. And that's almost as good.

Watch and enjoy -- the movie is set for release on Christmas Day, a calendar date that sits smack at the intersection of "Award" and "Worthy."

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 7:50 PM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Movies  | Tags:  Movie Trailers  
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Sure glad they stopped being Serious.

Posted by: kabuki3 | September 27, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Oooo, I'm torn. The preview looks good, but the original, despite Glenn Campbell, was just so great. John Wayne and Kim Darby as Rooster and Maddie were so fantastic.

Posted by: PQSully | September 28, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I think the Coen Bros. are playing with fire on this one. They're probably too young to remember, but the John Wayne version of True Grit was just one of a handful of great movies that came out in 1969 - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Downhill Racer, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Z, etc. etc. The Vietnam War was raging, and all these films reflected, in one way or another, the disenchantment with the status quo and government the country was experiencing at the time. If not done properly, a redo of one of these classics will pale by comparison.

On a more personal note, as a young girl coming of age at the time, the character of Matty was iconic. I'm sure Hailee Steinfeld is a wonderful young actress, but she's got big shoes to fill. Kim Darby, where are you?

Posted by: pfallsgirl | September 28, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I saw the original True Grit when it first came out and I think there may be some rose colored glasses being worn by commenters. Glen Campbell did not exactly go on to a major movie career and I am pretty sure Kim Darby got out of the business. Her portrayal of Matty was on the cute 'n feisty side whereas Ms. Steinfeld, from the brief clip, seems to have a farm girl solemnity that's going to be more realistic. For what it's worth, the Coen Brothers said that they made a point of not seeing the John Wayne film--they worked entirely from the novel by Charles Portis, which had a rougher edge.

Posted by: jhpurdy | September 28, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a good movie to me. I saw the original many years ago, but I always thought it was really a showcase for John Wayne--a good chance for him to play the exact same character he always played. This version will probably have a completely different tone with Bridges playing the part of the marshall. Even when they miss the mark (which is rare) the Cohens always have an original vision.

Posted by: guitarharry | October 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

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