Wednesday, December 22, 2010
True Grit opened today and I caught the 12:50 show. You probably know the basic plot: 14-year-old Mattie hires grizzled Deputy Marshal Rufus "Rooster" Cogburn to track down Tom Cheney, who'd killed and robbed Mattie's father. Also on Cheney's track is a Texas Ranger, LeBoeuf, who wants to return Cheney to Texas on a murder charge. This doesn't sit well with Mattie, who wants Cheney to suffer for the crime against her father. This leads to conflict on the trail as the trio set out to find their quarry, believed to have thrown in with the Ned Pepper gang.
The movie is by turns gritty, funny, touching, suspenseful, and uplifting. Mattie's sense of moral purpose and Cogburn's world-weary manner provide a fine contrast and grist for many an amusing exchange. The same goes for the one-upmanship moments between Rooster and LeBoeuf. Also, the grim experiences Mattie has along the trail transform her from a pushy kid to a more self-aware young woman. The actress who played the part is excellent, as are all the other players.
I hope this movie will be enjoyed by the great unwashed and not just Western fans, and it leads to more quality films in the genre being produced. I loved it. Even the damn fool on the other end of the aisle who felt the need to audibly react to every scene didn't sully my enjoyment of the movie. I loved it and recommend it wholeheartedly.
As you might have guessed, the illo here has nothing to do with the film.