Monday, December 27, 2010

True Grit is What We All Want

We don't go to the movies often, preferring to watch them in front of a warm fire at home with a cat on our lap, where we have our own refreshments at hand (and frequent bathroom breaks are not a problem) -- and I don't have to ignore people's cell phones, or their eating ice, or chewing their cud in my ear. But every so often one comes along I simply can't wait the requisite 3-4 months for Netflix to churn out. Such is the case with 'True Grit.'*

I have been a fan of TG since I read the book as a teen. I felt it necessary to read all the works of Charles Portis. He is a fellow Arkansan -- who also graduated from U of A Fayetteville, with a degree in Journalism (though the year I was born). His writing style is like a newspaperman - sparse and clean, with the added delight of a sly wit. But of all his work, TG is by far my favorite.

When the movie came out, I think in '69, when I was a kid, I hadn't read the book yet, but I loved westerns and John Wayne ruled the western movies. I loved John Wayne's acting in it, and Robert DuVall was an excellent Ned Pepper, but I was sorely disappointed with the casting of Kim Darby as Mattie Ross. And Glenn Campbell as the Texas Ranger??! Let's not even go there. To make matters worse they filmed it - god knows, but it sure as hell didn't resemble AR and the Indian territory of OK...as much as I liked the movie, it was a bit of an embarrassment. Then when I read the novella, I felt they didn't do a good job at all, despite making a movie that stands up today. (Wayne's Oscar was a nod to sentiment, but his performance is still a pleasure to watch).

This movie seems to put things to rights. All the actors are amazing. One reviewer in TIME said he couldn't understand Bridges 'growling' as Rooster Cogburn. I don't know what his hearing issues are, but maybe he should clear out the wax. Bridges gives another Bridges brilliant performance, and the young Mattie and Matt Damon as the Ranger are pitch-perfect. All the actors are excellent.

I didn't even miss General Sterling - the cat featured in the first movie. As a fierce lover of all things feline, that's saying something.

* another is 'The King's Speech'

9 comments:

Doris Sturm said...

Just wanted to stop by to say hello and hope that you and your husband had a peaceful and pleasant Christmas Day. It was quiet here, but that's how I like it anymore - I've had enough commotion in my life so I don't mind being still for a while.

Take care and stay well!

Zootsuitmama said...

I can't wait to see this movie. I saw the original at the drive-in. I think Bridges is really coming into his own. Zootsuitmama

Traci said...

I'm so happy you wrote about True Grit and gave some background on the author. Alex is not only a fan of the book and anything that John Wayne is in but also a fan of the Cohen brothers, so this was a must see for him. I was sick on Christmas day so we spent the day in bed, with cabin fever and not wanting to contaminate others we decided to go to the drive-in to watch True Grit, it was playing as a double feature with Yogi Bear (which sounded like torture) so we watched The Fockers (which was laughless) and then were treated by getting to see TG which I absolutely loved.

I adored the young girl, her dialog was brilliant and of course Jeff Bridges was great. They were quite the pair. I couldn't help but think, that girls the one with the true grit.
It's so funny to me that you and Alex think so much alike, he felt the same way about Kim Darby and Glen Campbell. He is sure Glen realized acting wasn't his thing in this movie since he never acted again.

We also want to see The Kings Speech as well as The Fighter.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Hmmmm....maybe I can get the Big Tuna to an actual theater.

Arkansas Patti said...

Because of all the reasons you mentioned in you first paragraph and due to the fact that I am a 3 hour round trip from the nearest theater, I will wait for Netflix but I all ready have it saved.
Thanks for the review.

e said...

I was a kid when the original came out and did not care for it...Perhaps I'll try the latest via Netflix and see if that suits. Thanks for the post, and Ms. Parker is adorable!

Tony Single said...

Ooh yeah, I definitely want to check out True Grit. I do like the Coen brothers' output so far, so I have high hopes for this one. I honestly had no idea that this was based on a book though, so I really must check out Charles Portis ASAP. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

wendy said...

I can't wait to see it too. BUT.....we probably will wait for the Netflix as that is who we watch ALL our shows. In our jammies, and cheap popcorn. We'd have to drive an hour to a decent theatre. But hey......who knows.
Nah... I know hubby, guess I'll have to be patient and wait. I love the cast they put together for it.

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Ms. Wye! Indigo here, on a return trip. I feel your pain on the cinema front; I find these days I'm very reluctant to sit with other people to watch a movie. This one looks interesting, too; Jeff Bridges is always watchable, and I didn't realise it was the Coens making it! Thanks for dropping by, Indigo