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14-Year-Old Shows Her “True Grit,” Steals Show

True Grit
Paramount Pictures


True Grit

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin

Summary: The Coens have gone country and it has paid off. True Grit is a remake of a 1969 film which was based on a 1968 novel.  The story focuses on Mattie Ross (Steinfeld), a 14 year-old girl determined to avenge the murder of her father by Tom Chaney (Brolin).  To help her on her quest she recruits Marshall Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) and Ranger LaBoeuf (Damon).

While Bridges does a fine job as Cogburn, it is Hailee Steinfeld who steals the show.  She dominates every scene she’s in, going toe-to-toe with Bridges and Damon. It would be a shame if she were overlooked during the Oscar race.  I thoroughly enjoyed this version except for the very end. I must confess that once Steinfeld was off the screen the movie lost some of its luster for me, but the story was meant to be from Mattie’s point of view. The 1969 version focused more on Cogburn, played by John Wayne in the role that won him his only Oscar, but both films are excellent and highly recommended.  Grade: A

Trivia: Jeff Bridges was two years younger than John Wayne when he portrayed Rooster Cogburn.

Rated: PG-13 – For western violence and some disturbing images.

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