Arts and Entertainment

(15) Dir. Joel Coen + Ethan Coen; Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, 105mins

Tom Sutcliffe: Rooster's a bit too slow on the drawl

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Culture Club: Readers review True Grit

Readers review this week's big film

Whatever happened to the original Mattie Ross?

When she starred opposite John Wayne in the 1969 western True Grit, Kim Darby could easily have been forgiven for believing the role would be the start of a long and glittering career. In truth, though, defying predictions that a star was born, she has made no films of note since.

True Grit (15): The IoS review

The Coen brothers' new Western begins with a verse from Proverbs – "The wicked flee when none pursues".

British director captures one day in the life of the world

Jonathan Romney on a quirky hit culled from YouTube that has stolen the limelight

Dude who doubles as Jeff Bridges' best friend

It's not easy being relied on by Hollywood royalty –but for Loyd Catlett, it's been a remarkable ride. Guy Adams meets him

True Grit (15)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin

Culture Club: The Fighter

Readers review this week's big film

The Fighter, David O Russell, 115 mins (15)

Mark Wahlberg is a boxer who gets an emotional bruising from his family, in a gritty true story that has made Oscar contenders out of its director and supporting cast

True Grit, By Charles Portis

If the Oscar for best actor depends largely on the character portrayed, I'd be voting for an over-the-hill, drunken, one-eyed US deputy marshal rather than a stuttering king. John Wayne won his only Oscar for his bravura portrayal of Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn and the same role has put Jeff Bridges in the running this year. Yet the murderous lawman is not the central figure in True Grit. Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old farm girl who hires Cogburn to bring in her father's killer, is both protagonist and narrator of the yarn.

Geoffrey Macnab: My Oscar Favourites

Boardwalk empress: Kelly Macdonald on movies, marriage and Martin Scorsese

Danny Boyle discovered her, Irvine Welsh was inspired by her and the Coen brothers love Kelly Macdonald. But even as she journeys back to Prohibition-era America for the Golden Globe winner Boardwalk Empire, the actress is determined not to forget her Glasgow council-estate roots

Film remakes: Better than the real thing

Paul Haggis and the Coens are the latest Hollywood directors to retool existing films in their own image. Kaleem Aftab celebrates the fine art of the remake

Errors & Omissions: Making the point using a metaphor can be a painful experience

The phrase "not to put too fine a point on it" has always puzzled me. In a broad sense, the meaning is reasonably clear: "I am about to say something you won't like." But what has the "fine point" to do with it?

Geoffrey Macnab: Selections are bland, timid and baffling

When it comes to the awards season, we are invariably left with just two movies slugging it out against each other for the major honours. Last year, the main bout was The Hurt Locker vs Avatar. This year, if the Golden Globe nominations are an accurate measure, the antagonists will be The King's Speech (seven nominations) and The Social Network (six). It is the stuttering Brits against the Yankee nerds. The battle between them will only finally be resolved on Oscar night in February.

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