Maybe it’s because my family a couple of generations back is from the general area where the movie True Grit is set, but I just couldn’t get past the dialog. It was OK for the first minutes of the movie when the narrator was apparently reading a letter she had written, describing the murder of her father. You don’t expect people to use contractions when writing letters. They do use them when they speak though. But not in this movie.
My guess is that all these Civil War documentaries, where the narrative consists of the reading of historical correspondence, is supposed to be how people talked back in those days. The director possibly saw this a making the movie seem more authentic. This device apparently worked on the majority of viewers, because I didn’t see any mention of this horribly unnatural, awkward dialog in the reviews prior to my wasting a couple of hours on this movie.
Again, maybe it was because my grandpa, who was born and raised in Indian Territory, in the Choctaw Nation where this movie took place, didn’t sound like a person reading a letter, that I found the dialog of this movie unnatural and disturbing. I just couldn’t get past how the roughest, toughest, uneducated, criminal hombres sound like they area reading a poorly written book instead of conversing.
Besides the horrible dialog, the movie is OK. Jeff Bridges is a great actor, and he can pull the character off without bringing too much notice too the crap is given to say. Matt Damon is ok too, but the little girl and the rest of the actors stink to high heaven. Not to say they are bad actors. They are just unable to rise above such a poor script as are extremely talented an accomplished actors.
The climax of the movie happens fast and unexpectedly, and is a bit of a disappointment. That might be because I was entertaining myself and annoying my wife by looking for slip-ups, when the actors actually used contractions. They are few and far between, but they’re there.
Now I have to watch the original “True Grit” starring John Wayne to cleanse my palate of this debacle. If you want to see how bad movie dialog can be, you may want to satisfy your morbid curiosity and watch an hour or so of this movie. Take it from me though, the ending isn’t worth watching the whole thing.