True Grit (2010)
Ethan and Joel Coen have remade the John Wayne classic, this time a young actress named Hailee Steinfield takes the lead female, Mattie Ross, a 14yr old girl who’s father was shot by drunken criminal, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Mattie catches the train to Fort Smith, where she identifies the body of her father and sorts out his affairs. We soon discover that Mattie is a clever young girl, outwitting her elders with her educated tongue and her stubborn approach gets her what she wants. And what she wants is revenge on Tom Chaney, who has skipped town with fellow outlaw, Lucky Ned Pepper. Mattie makes it her mission to hire the best bounty hunter she can find. She finds her man, a one eyed US Marshall with true grit, named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) . Unfortunately, Cogburn loves his drink a bit too much and is reluctant to be hired by Mattie. Mattie returns to the boarding house where she lodges and meets a Texas Ranger named LeBoeuf (a remarkable, Matt Damon), who is also looking to capture Tom Chaney for killing a senator in Texas. Mattie informs LaBoeuf she has hired the best in the business and that he should leave it to Cogburn. The following day, Mattie returns to Cogburn and he requests $100 to do the job, but wants $50 upfront. She agrees, as long as she can come along to arrest the man who killed her father. She purchases a spirited young horse which she names Little Blacky and collects all her belongings together. She arrives at Cogburn’s residence in the morning to find him gone. Cogburn left a note to say he had gone and that the Indian Territory, where Tom Chaney had scarpered to, was dangerous and no place for a young lady. Furious, Mattie rides off on Little Blacky and finds Cogburn and LaBoeuf upon their horses on the opposite side of the river. Mattie and the horse brave the river and swim to the other side. Cogburn is impressed with the relentless young girl but LaBeouf cannot stand for her demanding, outspoken ways and promptly dismounts his horse to give Mattie a spanking for being so outspoken to elders. After Cogburn reprimands LaBeouf for his actions, they allow Mattie to join them, much to LaBeouf’s dismay. As the nights go on, LeBoeuf decides to split from Cogburn and Mattie and make his own journey. All three venture into the Indian Territory, meeting a host of characters along the way, whilst sharing a common goal: to capture Tom Chaney.
The acting in this film is superb, faultless even. Matt Damon plays his role with convinction and many a time I had to double take to ensure that it was actually him playing LaBoeuf. Jeff Bridges is also good at his part, but I feel he is basically playing The Dude except more heroic. The two males leads though bounce off each other well, but it’s the teenage girl, Haliee Steinfield, who definately steals the show and is a powerful a match to these two major Hollywood players. A name to watch indeed.
A rating… well… i’m not big on westerns but I loved Tombstone. This I did not enjoy as much as Tombstone so I would have to give it:
Rating: but for the acting it could squeeze a 4/5
[pt-filmtitle]True Grit (2010)[/pt-filmtitle]