Finally went to see the Coen Bros. take on “True Grit.” I’ll brand it a “Twin-W” for wonderful western. The film comes loaded with a raw edge of reality factor reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven.”
Go see it. Unless you hate westerns.
However, even if you don’t care for westerns, it’s an interesting study in the bonding that takes place between people during times of extreme stress. In this case, the stress is provided by a 14 year old girl (played by Hailee Steinfeld) setting out to apprehend her father’s killer, Tom Chaney (played by Josh Brolin). Unable to go it alone, she pays for the help of a crusty old battle scarred U.S. Marshall by the name of Rooster Cogburn. Turns out a Texas Ranger by the name of LaBoeuf (played by Matt Damon) is also after Chaney, but for a different murder, so all three hook up and head out into Indian country in pursuit of the killer and the gang he’s riding with.
Along the trail there are twists and turns, significant tension between Cogburn and LaBoeuf over the presence of the young girl, and an ending that provides an unexpected kick in the pants.
Jeff Bridges is outstanding as Rooster Cogburn, but there still is, and always will be, only one John Wayne. Kudos to Bridges for having the courage to follow Wayne in the roll. Those are some mighty big boots to fill pardner, but you did one hell of a job. Damn fine.