The Coen brothers follow the Coen aesthetic: everything is detailed, precise, historically and culturally accurate, and controlled down to the mood, lighting, color palette, props, details, and sounds. The 1969 version feels like a half baked student production by comparison. And True Grit 1969 was pushing hard on literal realism for its time.
There is one exception in both versions. Oklahoma doesn't look one bit like Oklahoma. It looks like Arizona or maybe Colorado. Sure, Arizona is a million times better than Oklahoma and a billion times prettier, but there are actual story elements that follow the landscape. Some of them could not happen in Oklahoma. I wonder if the novel contradicted Oklahoma geography also. The 2010 version can at least be paying homage to the 1969 landscapes; they are admirably closely matched without using the same locations.
I can't say 2010 ends more darkly, though the Coens give it their best. It does lay out a difficult but well earned fate for the characters in a harder edged and more final way, but the original was serious, too.
The acting was a technical triumph by all three principals and the supporting cast. I even lost track of Matt Damon the actor as he sublimated himself so deeply into LeBeouf. The performances all deserve a prize.
Everything in the production was outstanding and most all the spirit of the original was maintained. An excellent excursion.
Ripe fresh peas are just like candy.
Why did no one tell me that Southland Tales was amazing? Sure, it's a mess and either the editor or screenwriter was apparently drunk but it's an amazing mess. A collection of good performances by mostly mediocre B-list actors (plus SMG) fills out a dreamy post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Shards of a twisted self-referential plot entertain us until they come together to raise even more questions in the best post-Modernistic way. The dreamy quality of the effects and clips of storytelling is enthralling.
Okay, yes; it's a mess.
But I was fascinated.
And SMG makes the most hilarious hand gesture ever. Yes, ever better than Hush.
It hit 100 degrees here today for the first time this year. I went out to play at 8 AM when it was only 80 for a long bike ride.
I can hardly believe I used to go out and work hard in the 100+ weather when I was young. How did I do that?
Time for some ice cream.
Chocolate truffles in this weather are gooey and liquidy instead of soft and buttery.
Had a meeting with the ex about the kids. Why did she ever marry me if she felt like that? Oh, yeah--now I remember.
I don't know whom to root for in the Tour de France this year. I like Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers are cute together. Kloeden and Leipheimer have been fun to watch in the past. Mostly I'm just glad to see Contador in trouble. Even before I knew he was a cheater, I just didn't like the guy.
Maybe both Schleck brothers could pick up their first Tour titles this coming month.
My parents made a surprise visit for my birthday. I hadn't seen them together for fifteen or twenty years. Took them out to my favorite picnic spot in the mountains. It was a lot of fun but surreal, like being four years old again.
They seemed to get along fine. It's amazing how much they can drink, though.
Listening to them talk about family and cultural context makes me think about the distance between generations. People should really have their children just as young as they are able. Each additional year waiting is a barrier between you and the closest part of your family that will persist forever. Being a free spirit is overrated; youth is wasted on the young.
I mostly enjoyed the revival Nine. I have tried a few times but I just cannot warm up to Ten. Maybe it's Tennant or maybe it's RTD being RTD, but I just don't like him.
I loved Three and Four and Five as the Doctors of my youth. And I really like Eleven.
Also, could Rose be any more low and grating? I doubt it.