Trailer Wednesday: True Grit, The King’s Speech

Can you feel that? Oscar season is getting closer … this Trailer Wednesday features the Coen brothers’ yearly entry, this time a more mainstream film in a remake of the 1969 Western “True Grit.” Then there’s the little period drama that could, “The King’s Speech,” which made waves of Oscar buzz at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars one of last year’s Academy-Award nominees, Colin Firth as King George VI.

True Grit

The Coen brother don’t often wander into these parts, and by that I mean remakess. “The Ladykillers” back in 2004 was a remake met with mixed reviews, but the original 1969 “True Grit” was the one film for which John Wayne won an Oscar, so with last year’s winner in that category, Jeff Bridges, in that very same role, our attention should be had.

Bridges stars as Rooster Cogburn, a marshal who a young girl (newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) hires to find the man who killed her father. Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper co-star. The trailer is more teaser-like, creating the dramatic mood and tickling our curiosity as they Coens are so good at doing (see last year’s “A Serious Man” trailer). We’ll have to wait, however, until Christmas day.

The King’s Speech

Nothing like a good British historical drama to grab Academy attention — that stars foreign actors. Colin Firth plays the man who reluctantly became King George VI (and later sired Queen Elizabeth II) when his brother abdicated the throne. King George had a stutter and saw an off-kilter speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who helped him overcome it. Also in the cast are Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Guy Pearce and Michael Gambon (yes, Dumbledore).

The film comes from Tom Hooper, who directed the warmly received football film (English football, people), “The Damn United” and was written by a TV movie writer named David Seidler whose most prominent credits previously were Warner Bros. animated films (in the time when Disney had all the spotlight), “Quest for Camelot” and “The King and I.” My guess is that has no bearing on this film to draw in that kind of talent. “Speech” will be released the Friday after Thanksgiving, likely in limited fashion, but with the Weinstein Co. behind it, expect a big award-season push.


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