Aroview: This lively, immaculately shot remake of John Wayne’s classic 1969 western sees the Coen Brothers reinterpret Charles Portis’s novel, about a plucky 14-year-old and the drunken Marshall she hires to hunt down her father’s killer, with equal parts old-fashioned sentiment and buck-toothed wit.
Maintaining the broad, high-spirited comedy of the original while showcasing both the Coens’ consummate cinematic eye and ear for ornately spoken humour, the film gleefully exploits the language and idiosyncrasies of the old west while providing its top draw cast with exaggerated wordplay to shape their larger-than-life characters around. Particularly impressive is newcomer Hailee Steinfeld in the pivotal role of Maddie, who carries the traditional revenge narrative with tenacity and determined spirit. If not entirely distinctive, a fine revivalist western that goes stubbornly against the grain of the ‘revisionist’ model.
Average rating (Very Good). Showing 1-3 of 4 member reviews.
4 stars (Very Good) A good modern western, staying true to many old-school western elements. An inconsistent (and at times frustratingly slow) pace may be offputting for some, but the wit and building tension kept me engaged.~Tom H
5 stars (Exceptional) While the trademark Coen wit is still very much present, it is the performances that carry this simple but well-told story. Damon is perfect and Bridges is exceptional, but its young Hailee Steinfeld who steals the show with a revelation of a performance.~Wizzums