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If the Joel and Ethan Coen version of True Grit wasn’t among my most anticipated films of 2010, it would be now.

The teaser trailer for the film has just been released, and it impresses with a collection of stunning images, some deliberate references to the 1969 John Wayne version, and a lovely hymn used as the score. More tantalizing than anything else, however, are the glimmers of performance from Hailee Steinfeld, the young actress who makes her starring debut as Mattie Ross, the girl who hires a marshall rumored to be a man of ‘true grit.’

I’m rather surprised to see some of the shots in this trailer which very specifically point back to the first film version of the story. But I’m amazed at the piece as a whole. Roger Deakins‘ cinematography here is some of the most impressive stuff I’ve seen from him. That’s a big statement, and this is just a teaser for the film. There are shots here that are perfectly simple and iconic. Lord, how I’m looking forward to the feature.

Here’s the official synopsis from Apple, which also has the trailer in HD. I very much encourage watching it in the highest possible resolution. True Grit opens on December 25.

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father has been shot in cold blood by the coward Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), and she is determined to bring him to justice. Enlisting the help of a trigger-happy, drunken U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), she sets out with him — over his objections — to hunt down Chaney. Her father’s blood demands that she pursue the criminal into Indian territory and find him before a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (Matt Damon) catches him and brings him back to Texas for the murder of another man.

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