Monday, June 13, 2011

Movie Monday: True Grit

I finally had the opportunity to see the new movie True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges.  It was really good.  I enjoy westerns, and I am a fan of Mr. Bridges, so I was predisposed to like it.  Matt Damon played the part of LaBoeuf, originally played by Glen Campbell.  He provided levity to the dark story of a young woman who sets out to avenge the murder of her father.  Hailee Stanfield, the young actress who plays the lead character, Mattie Ross, is excellent in a very demanding role.

It's been a while since I've seen the original movie starring John Wayne.  There are some changes, as I recall.  I would like to read the book that the movies are based upon by Charles Portis.  At any rate, the movie is excellent.  The movie was shot in Granger, TX and in New Mexico. 

The plot centers around Mattie.  She is searching for a U.S. Marshall of 'true grit' to aid her in capturing her father's killer, Tom Chaney.  She settles on Rooster Cogburn, played by Mr. Bridges.  Through the course of the journey, it is discovered that the marshal isn't the only one with true grit, as Mattie herself possesses it in spades.  The use of language in this movie is amazing.  Though the setting is in the south, specifically Arkansas, the characters are not seen as hicks with a twang.  The language is formal--no contractions of any kind are used, even by the outlaws.  Cursing and foul language are kept to a minimum. 

Mattie wants justice, and she is single-minded in her determination to obtain it.  The murderer is seen from the different perspectives of his pursuer.  Mattie views him as slow-witted, while LaBoeuf sees him as calculating.  Mr. Cogburn cares very little for the character of the man who has committed this and other crimes; he is interested in the reward for his capture.  Cogburn and LaBoeuf are changed by Mattie, and she learns a lot about how our decisions can have unforeseen consequences. 

There are a number of religious motifs throughout the film.  The hymn"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" plays throughout.  The movie begins with a quote from Proverbs.  The movie asks the viewer to consider justice.  The Bible says that vengeance is the Lord's.  Man is not to take revenge.  Mattie pursues revenge and it costs her dearly.  It is not clear whether Mattie's vengeance gives her a sense of peace.  That is left to the imagination of the viewer.

True Grit is available at local Redbox locations and on DVD/Blue ray.

Many blessings,


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