Steve Pond: ‘True Grit’ not an Oscars gamechanger

Steve Pond (The Wrap) delivers a must-read recap of the reviews of “True Grit.” The Coen brothers remake of the 1969 western that won John Wayne his only Oscar is the last major entry in this year’s derby. The press was asked to wait till Wednesday before writing about this film which stars last year’s Best Actor champ Jeff Bridges in as the aging gunslinger first played by Wayne, newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as the young girl who seeks his help to avenge the death of her father, and Matt Damon as the Texas Ranger roped into helping them both.

For Steve, “It’s good. Sometimes it’s damn good. But it’s not a game-changer.” As he explains, “it’s a light film that occasionally feels heavy — and while that is no doubt exactly what the Coens intended, it may well keep ‘True Grit’ from being taken seriously enough by Oscar voters to become the strong Best Picture contender that some had predicted.”

Among our 18 experts, including Steve, sight unseen “True Grit” had ranked seventh on the Best Picture list while Jeff Bridges just made it into the final five Best Actor nominees. And both Damon and Steinfeld were considered to be supporting contenders. All of the foregoing may well change when we publish our revised rankings at week’s end.

Photo: Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” (Paramount)

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