It delights me that "True Grit" has become the biggest theatrical hit the Coen Brothers have ever had, just as it delights me that the box-office take for "Black Swan" is now more than the combined box-office take for all of Aronofsky's other films combined. Not because I think box-office correlates with what is good, but because successes like these for artists I admire mean that these artists will have it easier the next time they try to make something. That's the most important thing that money does… it enables them to continue working.
Paramount seemed excited by "True Grit" before it came out, but since its release, that excitement has turned into over-the-moon joy. A critical darling and a commercial hit, there is even a growing sense that the film could turn out to be an Oscar winner. And in the midst of all this celebration, Paramount wants to give something back to you, the audience that has made the film a success.
Here's how it'll work: I'm going to ask you a question, and you just have to mail the right answer to our news desk. Everyone with the right answer will be entered in a drawing to win one of three posters for the movies, signed by pretty much everyone but Matt Damon.
By "pretty much everyone," I specifically mean Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Joel and Ethan Coen, Barry Pepper, Josh Brolin and the great Roger Deakins.
Cool enough for you?
All you have to do is tell me how many actors have played Rooster Cogburn, what their names are, and where they played him. All the correct answers will be entered in a pool, and we'll draw the winners from that.
Try doing it without the IMDb. And be careful. It might be more actors than you think. And comments on this story are disabled so no one posts any answers here.
[Update: This contest is now closed. We'll announce the winners in Friday's Morning Read.]
Now fill your hand, you sonofabitch, and get those entries ready!