Some people are expressing amazement that Joel and Ethan Coen would set out to make a classic western in the first place, and then that they'd accomplish it. All I can say is that those folks haven't been paying attention. In a recent New York Times article, David Carr described the Coens' richly entertaining new "True Grit" -- which they insist is an adaptation of Charles Portis' novel, not a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film -- as a surprising, family-friendly departure from the brothers' "dark comedies and twisted genre spoofs" and their "murderers' row of cinematic sociopaths." What that means in English, I think, is that the level of violence and cussing in "True Grit" is a lot lower than in "Blood Simple" or "No Country for Old Men," the Coens' previous excursions into the American West.
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