Sometimes it pays to be last.  Every other major winter release and Oscar contender has already released a preview, but the Coens' "True Grit" was intentionally quiet.  Now, just in time for the debut of "Grit" producer Scott Rudin's other contender, "The Social Network," "Grit" finds it way onto the awards season landscape.

A remake of the 1969 Henry Hathaway western which won John Wayne his first Academy Award and was actually based on Charles Portis' novel, "Grit" tells the story of a young girl (newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) who recruits a U.S. Marshall (Jeff Bridges in the Wayne role) to help her track down her father's murderer (James Brolin).  Matt Damon and Barry Pepper are also along for the ride. 

A fellow journalist recently told this pundit he'd heard from a good source it was a "rollicking adventure," but that seemed like insider spin considering the darker elements in the story and the Coens' involvement.  Watching the new preview, there are certainly sequences that look like an epic chase, but make no mistake, this is the Coens' in revenge mode -- through the eyes of their underage heroine. 

You can watch the trailer embedded in this page.  Do you think it's a contender or a pretender?  Share your thoughts below.

"True Grit" opens nationwide on Dec. 25.

Get Instant Alerts - Awards Campaign with Gregory Ellwoo
By subscribing to this e-alert, you agree to HitFix Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and to occasionally receive promotional emails from HitFix.