True Grit (2010)

Review: True Grit (2010)

05 Mar 11

Arty Western Exudes Character and Charm

Never saw the John Wayne original (before my time) but enjoyed this Coen cover of a classic. The star in this was feisty 14 year old Mattie Ross played by Hailee Steinfeld. She stood up to Marshall Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texan Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) in her personal quest for justice. Mattie didn't fit with social expectations of her gender in an era when girls weren't supposed to worry "their pretty little heads" about hunting felons and settling estates. She showed wit, gumption and grit. Jeff Bridges was authentic as the gruff alcoholic Marshall, slurring and growling half the time (or maybe it was his accent?) and I liked Matt Damon in this arty role compared to his usual blockbuster fare. True Grit is like a shiny gem in a snake pit, an unexpected find and morality tale with some haunting music and imagery. Contrary to cynics, I liked the melancholic dirge by Iris Dement in the end: "Leaning In Everlasting Arms." Reminded me of the folk country songs in O Brother Where Thou Art.