Tag Archive: true grit


Steinfeld made a name for herself as always being one of the best dressed stars on the red carpet.

In 2010, young actress Hailee Steinfeld burst into the world of film with a truly magnificent performance in True Grit alongside Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. Steinfeld’s performance in the Western was nominated for an Academy Award. The nomination strangely came in the category of Best Supporting Actress; strange because Steinfeld was really the only female character, logically making the lead actress er… Matt Damon. Anyway, since that performance Steinfeld has moved away from acting but looks set to return with a very busy schedule ahead for films released in the next couple of years.

Steinfeld began her career acting in short films at the age of 8, in order to gain experience of the acting industry. In 2009 she starred in the award winning short film She’s a Fox which featured at many international film festivals so people in the know really recognised her as a great talent even before True Grit hit the cinema screens. Clearly her talent shone through at the True Grit auditions as Hailee Steinfeld was chosen out of 15,000 girls to play the part of Mattie Ross, the girl who hires Jeff Bridges Deputy U.S. Marshall to find and kill the man who murdered her father. Steinfeld is also the actor granted the privilege of saying the name of the film in the film by telling Jeff Bridges that he has ‘true grit’.

After rising to fame through that performance Steinfeld went off the radar for a couple of years. You’ve got to imagine that a big reason for this was to concentrate on her studies; Steinfeld is, after all, just 15 years old at the time of writing. But she was also chosen to be the face of worldwide fashion brand Miu Miu for their 2011 campaign. But now she has returned with a whole host of projects coming up in 2013 and 2014, most notably perhaps landing the role of Juliet Capulet in Carlo Carlei’s retelling of the most famous love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.

True Grit

Firstly though, Steinfeld is set to star alongside British starlet Keira Knightley and everyone’s favourite Incredible Hulk Mark Ruffalo in Can a Song Save Your Life? which, in all honesty, is something I probably won’t be watching. Another project Hateship, Friendship sees Steinfeld working with some more big Hollywood names in the form of Kristen Wiig and the rejuvenated Guy Pearce. The upcoming project I am most looking forward to that Steinfeld is involved in is Gavin Hood’s science fiction film Ender’s Game, slated for an autumn release in 2013. Although I am yet to be impressed with Hood’s direction (Rendition was an average, slow burning thriller, and the less said about X-Men Origins: Wolverine the better) but with a synopsis that reads “70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion” it has grabbed my attention: it also stars science fiction heavyweight Harrison Ford who still has a huge fan following despite winning my award for most boring person in the world.

Hailee Steinfeld

Also this year Steinfeld appeared in the music video for The Cab’s single Endlessly

Steinfeld continues to work in 2014 with The Keeping Room, being directed by the same man who brought Harry Brown to the big screen back in 2009. She is also rumoured to be in the comedy Why We Broke Up although confirmation is still being awaited for that. And Steinfeld has recently been announced to star alongside Kevin Costner in the thriller Three Days to Kill being directed by McG (This Means War) and produced and written by action God Luc Beeson.

It is clear that despite the couple of years break that Steinfeld has had she has a huge career ahead of her. And even though she missed out on winning the Oscar for True Grit I think an Academy Award is more than certain for this huge talent.

Advertisements

Joel and Ethan Coen are very very recognisable names in the world of film making with almost all of their films achieving critical acclaim, the same can be said of Christopher Nolan and his occasional collaborator, the less famous brother Jonathan Nolan. There is no doubt that these two sets of brothers have a huge talent for film making and I think everyone has at least seen a film by each of them, if not count it among their favourite movies of all time.

The Coens are two of only seven directors to win three Oscars for one film.

The Coen brothers are the seasoned professionals of the two having been making movies since Blood Simple in 1984. Joel and Ethan are a perfect partnership; they write, produce, direct and edit all of their films together and rightly share joint credits in doing so. Their back catalogue of movies includes big hitters such as The Big Lebowski, Fargo, True Grit and No Country For Old Men; there aren’t many directors that can claim to have such a wealth of superb films in their locker.

The year is 1998: enter Christopher Nolan. Nolan first worked with his brother Jonathan on the absolutely fantastic Memento, adapted from Jonathan’s short story. Whilst not working together on every project like the Coen brothers Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have written The Dark Knight (often cited as one of the best films of all time), The Prestige and one of the most anticipated films of this year, The Dark Knight Rises, together. Some might say these films have enough about them to challenge the very best of the Coen brothers themselves.

The working partnership between the two brothers is obviously very different but there is no doubt that all four individuals have a huge love for the cinema and a passion to bring incredible films to huge, happy audiences. The films that the brothers make are also very different in themselves; the Nolan films, aside from Memento, are huge blockbusters with big budgets, whereas the Coen films are smaller scale, more intimate and more character related (something that Christopher Nolan might disagree with but this is my opinion).

The Nolans’ The Dark Knight is considered one of the all time greatest movies.

If we go by the highest accolade in film making, the Academy Awards we would believe that the Coens were the better of the two partnerships, racking up 33 Oscar nominations for their films collectively, winning six of them, including two for screenwriting and one for directing. The films written by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan have garnered 12 nominations, including two wins. However, with the Nolans having done only three films together it is highly likely that if they continue to work together their Oscar count will rise higher than the Coens’.

In my opinion, the experience that the Coen brothers have over the Nolans gives them the edge and I really believe that they make some of the best movies of our time, True Grit and No Country For Old Men being two of my favourites of theirs. Whilst the Nolans do make terrific films, there is no doubt about that, I feel that they still have a long way to go before being as good as the Coens but if they continue on the road they are on and continue to write films together than I have no doubt that they will surpass the directing duo that currently sits at the top of the tree.

One thing is for sure though, I will continue to enjoy the films made by the Nolans and the Coens for as long as they make movies. Film fans are lucky to have two such magnificent partnerships working today to create absolute works of art.

The Coen brothers have been hugely successful in the world of film making. Joel and Ethan Coen have produced hit after hit including Fargo, The Big Lebowski and True Grit (to name but a few). Released in 1991, Barton Fink is a genre defying movie that has since garnered a huge amount of critical praise and still causes discussions to this very day.

Barton Fink is a writer who has made it big on Broadway, because of his success Hollywood now has that ‘Barton Fink feeling’ and he has been hired by a huge movie company to write a motion picture about a wrestler. Unfortunately, Barton Fink has writer’s block and it is not until he enlists the help of able assistant Audrey and his neighbour at the hotel, Charlie, that he manages to find some real-life inspiration from a very sinister source.

In the title role, John Turturro is absolutely fantastic and was unfortunate to miss out on an Oscar nomination in my opinion. His portrayal of the socially conscious and kind of awkward writer is a very good one and really peaks interest in the character of Barton Fink. John Goodman as Charlie Meadows, Barton Fink’s neighbour and new ‘friend’, also pulls off a good performance and puts across a warm feeling of that ‘ordinary man’ that  Fink describes. Although, out of all the performances in the film it is Steve Buscemi’s very small part as Chet that I really enjoyed; unfortunately Chet doesn’t feature that much (it would probably distract from the point of the film if he did), but Buscemi makes him a character that will never be forgotten in reference to this film with his comedic turn.

Visually and in terms of its direction, Barton Fink is an absolute masterpiece. The shots, symbolism, transitions and the use of mise-en-scene are encapsulated almost to perfection within the screen and the world of Barton Fink, it’s an absolute delight to look at. However, I feel that the story lacks a little bit of something special, a certain spark seems to have gone missing and the Coen brothers couldn’t find it, in my opinion. The first half of the film, I felt, drags an awful lot and it seems like it’s getting pretty boring in some places. But the pace picks up in the second half of the film and a lot of the deeper meanings of Barton Fink come through here; the action picks up, relationships are tried and characters change. If you can put aside the fact that it seems like halfway through the film the Coen brothers decided to change their story completely then you will enjoy the film.

I get the impression that Barton Fink is a film that needs to be watched on more than one occasion to truly enjoy this work of art, but unfortunately this is the first time I have watched it and, whilst I now know what to look out for in repeated viewings, I was getting bored watching it.I do plan on watching it again and maybe I will change my opinion of the first half of the film as it is this that I feel lets Barton Fink down.

An enjoyable film but not one of the Coen brothers’ best in my opinion.

My Rating: 6/10