It's nice that the Academy are continually considering the Coen Brothers nowadays; after winning big with No country for Old Men, they got a justified nomination for last year's A Serious Man and now for True Grit. Each film they make is as good as the last and it is reassuring that Oscar notices this. Their (own) shock inclusion with A Serious Man was wholeheartedly deserved and actually a better film eventual-winner The Hurt Locker (which was still a fantastic film), and after a complete snub from the Golden Globes, in which a lot of respect and credibility was lost, True Grit was always going to be nominated by the Academy. Not so much a remake of the original, which saw John Wayne win his only Oscar, but a re-adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel, this is a true Western. Starring last years Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges on Oscar-nominated form here, this is film-making at its most stylish. Long-time cinematographer Roger Deakins deserves his consideration here. If there is any justice though, the award True Grit will definitely scoop is Supporting Actress for 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld; she truly delivers one of the best performances out of all the acting nominations of this year. Mattie Ross is the film's heart, and somehow she managed to upstage Bridges and Matt Damon. If that is not Oscar worthy, I don't know what is. As for it winning though, if it wasn't such a strong year (what with The King's Speech and The Social Network battling it out), this would have had such a great chance.
Would it have been nominated before the 10-nomination rule?
Another difficult one – but I say when push came to shove, yes it would have been; and rightfully so. This is one of the most charming films on the list. Great performances, great direction, great script... it actually is one of the only nominated films that has it all.
Rating out of 5: ●●●●●
Chances out of 5: ●●●●●