‘True Grit’ to Open 61st Berlin International Film Festival

The 61st Berlin International Film Festival will open with “True Grit” by Academy Award winners Joel and Ethan Coen at the Berlinale Palast on Feb. 10, 2011.

“Joel and Ethan Coen stand for first-rate American independent cinema. With their penchant for irony, and off-the-wall characters and stories they have repeatedly captivated audiences,” comments Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick. “’True Grit’ is a wonderful way to kick off the Berlinale 2011.”

After “Blood Simple” (1984), their sensational debut film, the Coen brothers have had many big hits with the critics and audiences. These include “Fargo” (1996, Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), “No Country for Old Men” (2007, three Oscars, in the categories Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Directing), “Burn after Reading” (2008) and, most recently, “A Serious Man” (2009).

With Jeff Bridges, the famous directing duo presented their brilliant comedy “The Big Lebowski” at the Berlinale Competition in 1998. Now they are returning to Berlin with a Western drama. “True Grit” features Academy Award winners Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) and Matt Damon (“The Bourne Ultimatum”), Hollywood star Josh Brolin (“Wall Street”), as well as the young American newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

This re-interpretation of the Western classic “True Grit” (with John Wayne) from 1969 tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie (Hailee Steinfeld) who sets out to find the man who murdered her father. Since the authorities won’t help her, she hires the tough marshal “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) who, together with her and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), picks up the trail of the killer (Josh Brolin).

“True Grit” will screen as an international premiere out of competition at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.

Paramount, the film’s distributor, will be releasing True Grit to German cinemas on Feb. 24, 2011.

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