Monday, January 31, 2011

True Grit

I need to make time to watch the original John Wayne movie. And read the book that it’s apparently based on. I’d like to be able to do a comparison of these.

Because I loved this remake.

It’s dirty and rough and immoral in all the different shades of grey. Mattie Ross is the most frighteningly capable girl I’ve ever seen in a movie and I love that she’s so stubborn about what she knows is right even when everything around her has gone out of her comfort zone. I mean, she basically hires the most ‘round the law marshal that’s ever existed to hunt down the man who killed her father and spends almost the entire movie being shocked at things he does.

And Rooster Cogburn is so reluctantly amused by her and unwillingly fond of her as they travel together. I like that he keeps the hardass loner act up throughout the whole movie, even as he’s teaching Maddie to survive out in the wild lands, and he almost defiantly clings to his drinking and smoking and killing ways all the way up until needs to save Mattie’s life. Like saving her will make up for all the shit he’s done in his life.

Not that he was looking for it, of course, but he’s a man who takes advantage of his situation and if he has the chance to do the right thing and not let down this girl who elbowed her way into his life, he’s going to damn well take it and damn the consequences.

If you’ve been thinking about going to go see this one, do it. There are some gross violent bits (well, one that comes to mind but it made me flinch so I have to mention it) and there are extended periods of riding horses and doing nothing more than talking, so some parts might seem long, but it’s a great movie and definitely worth watching if you’re a fan of Westerns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While I've always loved the original movie with Mr. Wayne having seen this remake I have to say that Wayne was a Hollywood-Cowboy. He posed and looked real mean on a horse but he wasn't... true like Bridges.

Having read the book (which is actually a comedy don't ask) the language of the remake is so much better. Very much like the the book. Clipped and proper with all these weird turns of phrase that just stem from Ozark-Country. I think that the remake really highlights parts of the book that I hadn't known about until I read the book such as Reuben's family and the real end of the book.

Also, thank god LaBoeuf was played by a real-actor instead of a teen-hearthrob. Matt Damon was so much more enjoyable to watch that pathetic Glen Campbell. Seriously the characters were dead-on for Mattie (she is adorable and such a wonderful little actress) and LaBoeuf.

Bridges was incredible. He did well with Waynes' characterization but he took the role into a new direction. I wasn't scared of Waynes'-Cogburn but damn. Bridges scared me. I wish the movie hadn't ended because I just drank-up his performance. I hope we'll be seeing many, many more Westerns in the future.

In the book the violent bits are different. They're described, almost from a distance, and to me that makes em worse.

'True Grit' in all forms is one of my familys' favorite movies and novels.