Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"

Hailee Steinfeld received her first Oscar nomination for playing Mattie Ross in True Grit.

Even though the original 1969 True Grit is no favorite of mine, and I might even say I despise it, it's still incredibly better then this 2010 remake version. It's hideously overblown, badly written, and horrendously acted by the entire cast. Either a huge marketing campaign was involved or the Academy have lost all faith in themselves to nominate this film for a ton of awards. The story of a young girl who sets out to avenge her father's murder - she hires a drunken Marshall who helps her track down the killer.

Hailee Steinfeld plays the role Kim Darby originated 40 years ago. In the original, Mattie Ross was a tough, yet sweet girl who must overcome her fear to avenge her father. Our Mattie, played by Hailee Steinfeld, is already really tough, not that sweet, and doesn't need the knowledge of overcoming her fears; she has nothing to fear. Already we have a boring character I've already seen in another boring way, played with no conviction from newcomer Steinfeld.

In most scenes, she is obviously being coached - whether it be a head nod, a hazy eyed look at the distance or a curse word that are horribly underdone. It's expected Steinfeld is not going to be a natural on screen, but her inconsistency is annoying and unimpressive. Mattie could be interesting if the filmmakers could have handled Hailee Steinfeld better, not throwing her inabilities out at the audience in every scene. From the negative impact of True Grit, to the overall amateur attempt at a dramatic firework from Steinfeld lead me to call it bad acting. Even in her best moments, there's still that "ugliness" to it.

11 comments:

joe burns said...

I agree , she does nothing..

Sage Slowdive said...

Oh, I think she does alot - she's just horrible at doing it.

Louis Morgan said...

Her accent goes in and out, there are many moments of clear line recitation, but I still sort of enjoyed her performance, not that I would defend it.

hey deanie said...

I loved her! I thought she was just phenomenal, conveying Mattie's growing disillusionment with the world and her gradual detachment from childhood naivete beautifully.

Sage Slowdive said...

I don't know what you saw Deanie, but I love it :D

DistinguishedFlyer said...

Don't agree with you at all on this one (or on the movie in general), but it does look like Leo will be your final choice, which is probably my pick too. I expect she will also be the Academy's choice.

Allen said...

Hmm...I liked True Grit a lot and I did like Hailee Steinfeld, but I'm not sure if I liked her enough to nominate her.

dinasztie said...

Many say that she will win, but I'm hoping for a real actress to win. I think if Melissa wins SAG, her win is secured (same goes for Natalie; if she wins SAG, she will definitely win, if Annette gets it, than she will win). I have a fear that Melissa and Amy might cancel each other out, than I hope that Jacki will pull a Marcia Gay Harden, but that's very unlikely. I just don't see how anyone put Helena #1? She's fun when she's on screen, but she doesn't have to do anything special. I still have to see True Grit.

Sage Slowdive said...

I don't even see how it's a race...Melissa Leo has won too much for this to be some kind of race.

Mac C. said...

I've marked my favorites for this site as I can't wait to read the write-up's for this year's crop of performances!

I disagree with the comments on Steinfeld's performance - you couldn't ask for anything better in a tricky role in a Coen Brother's movie. Her scenes opposite Bridges and Damon are spot on. An incredible improvement over the original.

Unknown said...

It wasn't believable. Too much credit to young white women during that time.