Thursday, February 3, 2011

"True Grit" - in theaters

Oh how I love Matt Damon. Let me count the ways...

I remember when the news first broke that the Coen brothers were going to be remaking "True Grit", and their insistence that it was NOT a remake. It was simply another adaptation of the book. So don't expect Jeff Bridges to do an impression of John Wayne, etc., etc.

I've never seen the original, but according to my father, it was quite campy due to the fact that Glen Campbell was in it, and you couldn't see him as a character; you could only see him as Glen Campbell. So I will give credit to the Coens that this new version is NOT campy.

The story revolves around Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), a 13-year-old girl whose father is murdered by Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). She hires a U.S. Marshall by the name of Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to help her track him down. In the meantime, a Texas Ranger by the name of LaBoeuf (Damon), no relation to Shia, hears of this venture and teams up with Cogburn because he too is looking for Chaney.

Rooster was chosen by Mattie because he displays what people believe to be "true grit", when in fact it's Mattie that embodies that characteristic. You wouldn't think that a 13 year old girl, especially in those times, could do what Mattie does throughout the film, and she is so determined, so focused on nabbing Chaney and bringing him to justice, that she cares about nothing else. She doesn't care that she's sleeping outside or that her mother is home alone with her younger siblings. She bargains with a salesman to return horses that she no longer needs, carries a gun, and isn't afraid of making her horse swim across a deep river with her astride. You can really see why Steinfeld was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, because it is seriously bad ass.

There were more humorous moments in the film than I thought there was going to be, which is always pleasant. Jeff Bridges is, of course, awesome in the role, and Rooster is someone I wouldn't mind having in my corner. LaBoeuf is a little slimy and devious, but in the end has Mattie's best interests at heart. Brolin is hardly in the picture, but when he is, he's so disgusting that you just want Mattie to shoot him and get it over with.

So on the CWeave scale, I give this movie a 9. I must say that this was a Coen brothers movie that I enjoyed. It almost makes me forget about "No Country for Old Men". Almost.

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