All Hail Roger Deakins

“True Grit” hype is hitting a fever pitch right now – after last week’s spiffy teaser trailer, In Contention got an exclusive look at the film’s teaser poster, a properly simple, vintage, Wanted-poster-style image. Now, Paramount has rolled out the film’s first full-length trailer, giving us a better taste of the performances and more of Roger Deakins’ gorgeous cinematography (what does the man have to do to win an Oscar???).

For pure simplicity and clean crafting, I still prefer the shorter teaser, but this extended trailer is indeed beautifully made. It’s hard to go wrong with images like the ones Deakins has provided, but the choice of the gritty vocals of Johnny Cash for the background music was an appropriate one. Jeff Bridges looks at home as the old codger Rooster Cogburn, and Hailee Steinfeld certainly looks to have plenty to sink her teeth into for her feature film debut. But this trailer gets me most excited about Matt Damon (early word is he’s a real standout) and Josh Brolin (who I’m betting will relish the opportunity to chew his way through a truly villainous role). Some corners are complaining that this trailer feels too commercial, and it certainly seems more targeted to get people in the theaters than, say, last year’s brilliantly screwy trailer for “A Serious Man.” But I’m not too concerned; “Burn After Reading” had a similarly straightforward trailer, and anyone who saw that film knows how it ended up. That said, it would be great if “True Grit” became a wider success on the level of “No Country for Old Men” rather than a Coen oddity like “Burn After Reading,” but personally I will be pleased as punch just about any way this turns out. Check it out for yourself:

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