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Jeff Bridges added another colourful characterization to the Coens' rogues' gallery as grizzled, garrulous and ornery US Marshal Rooster Cogburn, in this spectacularly popular remake of the John Wayne classic.
When her father is murdered by back-shooting killer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), determined and precocious fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) hires grizzled, one-eyed, ornery and frequently inebriated US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to hunt down Chaney and his outlaw confederates. Heading into Choctaw territory, the unlikely duo unwillingly team up with straight-laced Texas Ranger LeBoeuf (Matt Damon), who is seeking Chaney for another murder. Perhaps the Coens' straightest take on a classic Hollywood genre — though the source novel's combination of high-flown oratory and down-home patois is obviously tailor-made for the language-loving filmmakers — this second shot at the Charles Portis novel after John Wayne's Oscar-winning 1969 version unexpectedly became the Coens' highest-grossing film ever, taking in over $170 million at the domestic box office. Bridges adds yet another colourful characterization to the Coen rogues' gallery with the garrulous Rooster, and the previously unknown Steinfeld shows just as much grit in her star-making turn; both were nominated for Academy Awards.