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Review: True Grit, Inside Job and Wild Target

By Cinema, Reviews

Once again the Coen Brothers set a stand­ard for every oth­er film to try and match. True Grit is every bit as bril­liant as its repu­ta­tion would sug­gest: the best west­ern since Unforgiven and a cent­ral per­form­ance from Jeff Bridges that is twice as good as the one he secured an Oscar for last year (Crazy Heart).

Bridges plays iras­cible one-eyed Deputy Marshall Rooster Cogburn, a man with a repu­ta­tion for shoot­ing first and ask­ing ques­tions later, a man with a taste for whis­key and a dis­taste for author­ity. He is hired by spunky 14 year old Mattie Ross (aston­ish­ing new­comer Hailee Steinfeld) to hunt down Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who killed her law abid­ing, decent, cit­izen fath­er. Also, hunt­ing Chaney for a huge Federal reward (that dwarfs Mattie’s small bounty) is suave Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) and soon the chase is on, into law­less Indian ter­rit­ory where the fugit­ive is holed up.

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By Current Events

Despite my fer­vent desires to the con­trary, John Key has­n’t done much wrong in his first two weeks as PM but I was dis­ap­poin­ted with this com­ment about Flight of the Conchords, quoted in Stuff this morning:

I think they are great actu­ally,” he said of the Grammy Award win­ning artists. “They are a great example of a Kiwi export that ends up being picked up on the world stage … they are tak­ing a bit of humour and music to the world. We are lucky to have such tal­en­ted indi­vidu­als.”

Does Key really think that pro­du­cing this sort of tal­ent (and the glob­al reach and ambi­tion that is also required) is a res­ult of luck? Or is it more to do with the dra­mat­ic increase in sup­port of our cre­at­ive sec­tor over the last nine years, sup­port and com­mit­ment that allowed tal­ent like Bret and Jemaine to con­sider careers here and over­seas. If it’s just about luck, why sup­port our artists at all?

This reminds me of a story told to me by F&S com­menter Gary H. He was a reliev­ing teach­er at Parkway Intermediate in Wainuiomata and some­times played gui­tar and sang songs in class. In the staff room one day anoth­er teach­er said, “Gary, you’re so lucky you can play that gui­tar in class” and he thought to him­self, I taught myself to play it and prac­ticed for hours and hours to get good at it. Luck has noth­ing to do with it.