Saturday, 12 February 2011

True Grit

I cant pretend to know much about the western genre. I went through a Quick and the Dead phase as did most girls of my generation thanks to a young Leonardo DiCaprio. My favourite is The Good The Bad and The Weird which is a Korean remake of The Good The Bad The Ugly so technically my favourite western is an eastern. It all boils down to Oscar season + western = The Nerdy Trio went to see True Grit.

PLOT: Fourteen year old Mattie (Hailee Steinfield) hires Rooster Colburn (Jeff Bridges) to catch the man who killed her father and take him to the Judge for trial and thereafter for hanging. They meet Matt Damon’s LaBoeuf a Texan Ranger also hunting the outlaw. The trio team up, they fall out, Rooster saves LaBoeuf, Mattie predictably gets her ass kidnapped, LaBouf Saves Rooster, Mattie grows up and I grow old. END PLOT

The plot is actually not very original - tough independent girl seeks revenge in a man’s world, earns the respect of men, gets kidnapped and ultimately saved by the men folk regressing her to helpless female.

Hailee Steinfield is okay as Mattie but just okay. I liked the educated way in which her character spoke but I just couldn’t buy into her performance. There is something very stage school about her that just screams “look at me, watch me act, because I, am an actress”.

Jeff Bridges is an actor that I know (although one member of the Trio cant tell him apart from Jeff Daniels) but have seen very few of his films. In True Grit he plays an inaudible drunk very well, although not well enough to steal the Oscar from Colin Firth.

Matt Damon is on the cusp of camp in his mustard jacket and Josh Brolin is underused as Chancey.

The score is cheap, nasty and reminded me so much of Waltzing Matilda I actually found myself trying to remember the lyrics of the song during the film.

The movie did look good though especially the few scenes when it snowed.

Favourite scenes are Mattie negotiating the sale of her ponies and the scene in the hut with Quincy if only be cause the finger chopping moment took me by surprise and who doesn’t enjoy watching a man getting shot in the head at close range?

I must confess that I have an irrational dislike of the Coen Brothers as they radiate perpetual smugness and this does not sit well with me. The only other Coen Brothers movie I have watched is No Country For Old Men (my third favourite McCarthy novel) and I felt that they messed up the Carla Jean death scene. I cant explain it but I just don’t like them.

True Grit is a good film, it truly is, but if it weren’t for it being Oscar season it would have completely passed me by. It’s Oscar and not Joel and Ethan I need to thank for my afternoon’s viewing. It gets a 7/10 although it wont ever be watched again.

If anything I can sit on awards night totally vindicated in my picks for all the best awards none of which are True Grit related.


  1. its not john wayne. have not seen the new one. i like the westerns so i may see this one. but its not john wayne.

  2. I haven't watched the original but westerns really aren't my genre.

    I have no idea how it compares to the Wayne version.

    I hope you enjoy it more than I did.

    Thanks for reading.