I had the chance to go check out the film True Grit the other day.
Already a big Coen brothers fan, I was expecting big things from this film. They didn't disappoint.
The film opens with the Scripture verse from Proverbs 28th chapter, verse 1: The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. I love the Coens use of spiritual terms throughout most of their films. They seem to have a great appreciation for the things unseen and the things unknown and they pursue this in True Grit.
The film is about Mattie Ross, a 14 year old girl who is seeking judgement on her fathers killer. She starts the film closing up unfinished business of her fathers (a marvellous scene with her trading horses) and then preceding onto finding men to hunt her fathers killer (the two men are Jeff Bridges & Matt Damon).
Throughout the film, the dialogue is fast paced, sly and witty. The camaraderie built between the two men and the girl is amazing. Their openness and willingness in accepting who they are and what they are after is uncanny. A really great form of character development, that just draws you right into the story.
Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross and she is outright amazing. Her character was fantastic and I'd be surprised if she didn't receive an Oscar nomination.
Jeff Bridges reprises the role of US Marshal Rooster Cogburn (originally done by John Wayne in the film by the same name), talk about big shoes to fill and fill them Bridges did. He was hilarious, deep and downright mean - a typical cowboy I guess.
Matt Damon was showing his depth as an actor (if he hasn't already), his peculiar character was funny and heart warming. He played a 'by the book' Texas Ranger and his connection with Bridges and Steinfeld was superb.
I loved that the Coens brothers brought back a real Western film. The movie dragged in places it was supposed to drag and moved quickly when it needed to. It was deep, emotional and downright enjoyable. What I probably walked away with from the film was some insight that whatever may seem broken, damaged or unusable can still have a purpose. It still can carry weight. And also, that sheer determination and heart can bring about any result.
I give two thumbs way up for True Grit and recommend you go see it.
Matthew A. Hawkins