The Coen Brothers Talk “True Grit”

Vanity Fair sits down to talk with the Coen Brothers about their latest movie:

John Lopez: I thought the film was beautiful, but so markedly different from any of your other films. It felt like an old leather-bound kid’s adventure novel, but with more hangings.

Joel: Yeah, that dovetails with our way of thinking about it. In fact, people [asked], “How does it feel to do a Western?” When we read the book, it was more about struggling to fit it into this young-adult adventure genre than a Western, per se. It happens to take place in the West in 1878, but the way we thought about it was more storybook-like.

What’s neat is that the story starts off fun and funny, and then becomes almost poetic. The way it ends is almost happy. I’m trying to think of the right word—“heroic”?

Yeah, it’s cornier. Well, corny’s not a dirty word for us either. When you’re talking about a young-adult adventure story, there’s something very simple and elemental about those kinds of stories. You don’t want to change that. It’s what’s compelling about them as stories. It’s where they get their power.

I know the word I’m looking for: poignant.

Ethan: That’s good, that’s the ambition. That’s in the book; that’s what we wanted to do.

It’s brief, but a good interview with two of my favorite filmmakers.

Comments on this entry are closed.