Last summer when I saw the previews for "True Grit" and the exchange between Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn, "What do you want girl?" "I'm looking for the man who killed my father. The man's name is Tom Chaney and I need someone to go after him." I waited for its release with great anticipation. I have not been disappointed. "True Grit" is a remarkably religious film exploring Grace, justice, revenge, retribution, law, salvation, etc.
For me "True Grit" is one of those films that come along every so often that I "have' to see over and over again. It repays repeated viewing because it is so deep and rich on many levels. I think every actor in the film is perfect in his/her role from Hailee Steinfeld who is in every scene, except when the "adult" Mattie appears and she carries the movie. There are scenes wherein she is the "harpy in trousers" the woman fixated on justice, law, revenge, and getting her way. Then there are several scenes where she gets to be the 14 year-old girl remember camping out at night, "We had a good time," or her delight in wanting to "double back over our tracks, and confuse the trail in a clever way" and her looks of horror when she witnesses the chaos her pursuit of Chaney is creating. I will be disappointed if she doesn't win the Oscar but won't be surprised because the Academy's logic (or lack there of) is so often flawed. Then on through Bridges, Damon, Brolin, Pepper, onto the horse trader, the undertaker, Yarnell, the hanged men, the woman at the hanging, Bear Man, and on and on. Roger Deakins' cinematography is gorgeous especially the night lighting. The costuming, soundtrack, the art direction, and set decoration.are all brilliant. The Coen's commitment to being faithful to the Portis novel should put to rest peoples' concerns about this being a remake of the '69 "True Grit." It is a very funny and yet very moving film. I, for one am glad the Coens made this "True Grit."
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