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Movie Review: True Grit

Alternate Title: She's Got Spunk

Story: I am not a big fan of westerns but I am a big fan of the Coen Brothers. This fine remake of the 1969 film starring John Wayne (who won his only Oscar for that performance) was written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen and is based on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis.

Is it better than the original? Absolutely, it is. It is closer to the novel (I am told) and highlights the main character, 14 year old Mattie Ross, and she seeks vengeance and justice over the murder of her father. She hires Texas Ranger, Rooster Cogburn to follow the murderer into the Indian territories, arrest him and through the legal system, hang him high.

In true Coen Brothers style, there is dark humor, great dialogue, and a fabulous cast. It is a tale of revenge, innocence, gumption and fortitude balanced with just the right amount of violence and realism. Yes, the cowboy myth is taken down a notch or two, and there is still lots to think about in this tale of the old west.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUiCu-zuAgM

Here is the True Grit trailer from the John Wayne version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN-j4GDqjv4

Acting: Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn is a mumbling wonder. I adore jeff Bridges and as far as I am concerned - he can do no wrong. Matt Damon as LaBoeuf is always on target.Josh Brolin as evil Tom Chaney does a fine job in a small role. Barry Pepper as Lucky Ned Pepper is also terrific Young Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross steals the film from all of the seasoned actors. She is delightful and age appropriate.

Trivia: Hailee Steinfeld is an American actress. She was chosen for this part over 15,000 other girls. Steinfeld is from Thousand Oaks, California. She attended Conejo Elementary and Colina Middle School. She left Colina toward the end of her first year to be home schooled in sixth grade. Steinfeld's father is Jewish and her mother is of Filipino, African-American, and European-American descent. Her uncle is fitness trainer Jake Steinfeld.

Predilection: I like the Coen Brother's films.

Critters: A vulture, horses and rattlesnakes.

Food: Beans and whiskey

Sex Spectrum: None

Soundtrack: Westerny

Opening Titles: A short sequence showing the dead father who Mattie seeks revenge for and a proverb. The film's title is seen but all other credits are at the end.

Visual Art: Director of photography, Roger Deakins does a glorious job of filming the beauty of the west.

Theater Audience: About 50 other people.

Weather: Brr - it is cold in the Indian territories.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: There could be a nod or two.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Under two hours.