I’ll have to say that first and foremost, I’ve never watched a western movie. Not in the Cinema, TV or even on DVD/CD. Or, as my friend put it, “you didn’t grow up with John Wayne.”
True Grit is a adaptation of an old book and 1969 movie. This 2010 movie, however, focuses more point of view of little 14-year-old Mattie Ross (played by relatively unknown Hailee Steinfeld), who travels to the city to avenge the death of her father, who was shot by a conman, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Smart witted and well above the maturity of her younbg age, she persistently looks around for people and resources to help her in her quest, enlisting the help of aging, drunkard and trigger-happy US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (played by the awesome Jeff Bridges).
The story is what I would imagine a typical Western movie to be like (minus the cliché – two men standing in the middle of the almost empty down, staring down at each other waiting to whip out their guns and start shooting) but oh so much better.
Mattie will charm you from the very beginning with her gutsy determination to make her voice and wishes heard in what must have been a time where women (especially of a young age) were not taken seriously. Rooster Cogburn will remind you of that drunk and awkward man that everyone thinks is useless and selfish but has a soft spot inside. The cocky Texas Ranger (played by Matt Damon) will make you feel like he’s too big for his britches and thinks he knows better than others.
It was rough at times (trekking through unknown Indian territory), witty at some (funny catchphrases and quotes in the movie), brutal and bloody at others (lots of guns, bullets and horse chases) and heart warming at the end. All it all, I personally thought that it really was an entertaining, good movie and well deserving of its Oscar nominations.
* Nominated for 10 awards in the Oscars 2011 – Best Achievement in Art Direction, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Jeff Bridges), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Hailee Steinfeld) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on a Material Previously Produced or Published.
* Interesting Movie Trivia – John Wayne, who played Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 movie, won a Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Actor. Will history repeat itself in this year’s Oscars?
Genre: Drama / Western
General Release Date: 24 Feb 2011 (Malaysia)
Running Time: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
Cast: Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Thank you to United International Pictures Malaysia for the passes to this movie.
As usual, this post – and all other posts across this blog – are the personal opinions expressed by the writer and do not represent any third party’s view in any way.