True Grit (1969) has been acclaimed to be one of John Wayne’s greatest films. To be completely honest, I haven’t seen much of it, nor do I intend to see more. Here’s the brass tacks: I really don’t care for westerns. Generally. And John Wayne is always John Wayne. Throw him in an airplane, and he’s still John Wayne. Please don’t hate me, but this is where I’m coming from, and I guess I can see why some Wayne purists would be against the Coen brothers taking on such a legendary piece. I think it’s a quite brilliant idea, putting the fact that I love the Coens aside. They have proven their worth with both western-style drama and mythos, and being that this movie’s legendary, who better to immortalize it for this generation?
True Grit in a nut: Here we have little Mattie Ross (impressive newcomer Hailee Steinfeld) – a girl of 14 armed with a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue – whose father has been killed in cold blood. She seeks out a marshal to travel with on the hunt for her father’s killer, and ends up taking an incredible adventure.
Really I don’t have a lot to talk about here; the story’s intense, captivating, and well, gritty. All of the actors did a great job on this one – though I do pick at the fact that La Boeuf’s (Matt Damon) tongue injury could’ve been more realistic and continuative, I will agree to the idea that if they went further, the performance would be incredibly laughable, and no one really wants that.
To sum things up, True Grit is gritty, witty and holy crap Jeff Bridges. Bravo, Coens.
Final Grade: A