No coun­try for men of any age

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images - Robert Nott The New Mex­i­can

IWestern, Coen broth­ers’ style; Re­gal Sta­dium 14; The Coen broth­ers’ ver­sion of True Grit presents a West where chivalry is dead but hero­ism is not. The broth­ers seem in­tent on de­bunk­ing the myth of the West — and the Western — be­fore those myths even get a chance to take root. The good guys are braggarts and bores (which, thanks to the Coens, does not mean they are bor­ing), and the bad guys are sad, sorry-look­ing types who would not be out of place to­day on one of those re­al­ity tele­vi­sion shows in­volv­ing cops and drug busts. The re­mote land­scapes (the film was shot in Texas and New Mex­ico) are raw, full of bar­ren trees, con­stant snow flur­ries, and skies that of­ten look as if they’re about to burst open with gun­fire.

The film is based on Charles Por­tis’ 1968 novel about a 14-yearold Arkansas girl, Mat­tie Ross, who is hell­bent on aveng­ing her fa­ther’s murder at the hands of lowlife farm hand Tom Chaney. What she fig­ures she needs to get the job done is a man with grit. En­ter Mar­shal Rooster Cog­burn, a one-eyed, paunchy de­baucher who would rather snort than shoot. The duo is soon joined by a pompous Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf, and the three set off into In­dian ter­ri­tory to lasso their man. All of them are in­di­vid­u­al­ists who need — but don’t nec­es­sar­ily like — one an­other.

The Coens’ darkly hu­mor­ous style of film­mak­ing fits the novel much more than the lighter ap­proach that screen­writer Mar­guerite Roberts and di­rec­tor Henry Hath­away took with the first film ver­sion, re­leased in 1969 and star­ring John Wayne as

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