True Grit– A Witty Western that Will Leave You Weeping (If You’re My Mom)


Natalie Heath, Staff Writer

True Grit tells the story of fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross who is out to find her father’s murderer. She finds a U.S. Marshall who has, you guessed it, true grit. I had the pleasure of reading the novel by Charles Portis before seeing the film, though I had not yet seen the 1969 original starring John Wayne, and both put me at an advantage that complemented my viewing experience. Firstly, I doubt that I have ever seen such a perfect adaptation of a novel in a film. Much of the dialogue was taken directly from the novel and the few changes that were made actually improved the storyline and character development. The casting was incredible.

Hailee Steinfeld stole the show and our hearts with her sharp wit and impeccable timing. She was thirteen years old when the movie was filmed and she completely blew Kim Darby, the woman who played Mattie in the original film, out of the water. Jeff Bridges so completely fulfilled the role of Rooster Cogburn that it was hard picturing anyone else in the role, despite the fact that it had earlier been played by the great John Wayne. And Matt Damon perfectly captured LaBoeff’s role, down to the cowlick and Texan accent. Costuming within this movie was so realistic that I could smell the sweat. It encapsulated perfectly the time period. The Coen Brothers’ adaptation had stunning cinematography. Each screenshot was beautifully realistic, and they filmed so that the movie itself appeared to be as old as the setting. The quality of the film is flawless, with every action, line and scene deliberate and perfect. My mother even hated the movie because she said it was “too realistic” and she doesn’t like movies that make her cry. I will be shocked if Hailee Steinfeld doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress (though she deserved to be in the category for Best Actress) and Jeff Bridges will give the other candidates a run for their money.