Contributed By Billy Ong
Never mind if you have not read the Charles Portis novel from which it is adapted from, nor watched the original adaptation in 1969, this American Western film directed by the Coen brothers will not fail to impress—even if you’re not really into the gun-slinging, horse-riding and dust-stirring action.
Helmed by notable actors Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, True Grit brings audiences on a wild, riveting gallop across a world where justice is tracked down through lawlessness and relationships are formed out of retribution, or rather, the desire for it.
Following the murder of her father by one of his hired hands, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld in an Oscar-nominated, breakout role) goes on a mission to avenge his death. Turning to the local bounty hunting talent pool, she finds herself part of an unlikely trio that includes the toughest U.S. Marshal in town, Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texan Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), all with the same target but different agendas.
Employing breathtaking camera work and a deft hand at set productions (this being their second Western-themed film after their acclaimed No Country For Old Men, the Coen brothers definitely succeeded at fine-tuning their craft further), the screenplay tempers the themes of death and vengeance with humor and several well-wrought scenes that tugs at the heartstrings.
All that aside, the crowning glory in True Grit has to be the strong performance of the cast especially Steinfeld and Bridges—Oscars or no Oscars.