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True Grit is a powerful story of vengeance and valor set in an unforgiving and unpredictable frontier where justice is simple and mercy is rare. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), is determined to avenge her father's blood by capturing Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), the man who shot and killed him for two pieces of gold. Just fourteen, she enlists the help of Rooster Cogburn (Academy Award® Winner Jeff Bridges), a one-eyed, trigger-happy U.S. Marshall with an affinity for drinking and hardened Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Academy Award® Winner Matt Damon) to track the fleeing Chaney. Despite their differences, their ruthless determination leads them on a perilous adventure that can only have one outcome: retribution.
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Jeff Bridges plays this one to the hilt as a grizzled bounty hunter. First time I saw it I thought he overplayed it, now I see that he completely possesses the Rooster Cogburn character and does not exceed what it demands. A wonderful performance, thoroughly entertaining and deep.
This is a "road picture"; an unlikely trio of seekers, including a teenage girl on a mission to avenge her father's death, and upstart Texas Ranger Matt Damon, are all in pursuit of outlaw Josh Brolin for different reasons. The arcane language is brilliant, the dialogue is as if from an old novel, charming and seemingly authentic to the period. Haven't read the book but this version, presumably the language as well, is purported to be closer to the bone than the John Wayne version. The writers and the Coen Brothers have excelled in creating a vintage illusion and the clothing, sets, staging also contribute mightily to the gritty feel of the Old West. For a Western to be made in 2010 with instant classic written all over it is no small feat.
Bridges could have won the Oscar for it, he was nominated, but he had won the prior year for Crazy Heart. Still, Little Hailee Steinfeld emerges here as a talent to watch, she truly possesses True Grit. Great story, great performances, a movie movie up there with Hollywood's best.
I purchased the Blu-ray/DVD Combo with Digital Download, which these days almost always means it will include Ultraviolet rights redeemable at a store like Vudu or Flixter, and sometimes a choice of an iTunes or Windows Media download as well. True Grit is listed in the Ultraviolet database, so typically a Blu-ray of it that includes a digital version would mean you'll get a UV code. Not so with this version. If you opt to purchase it and want to add it to your UV library, plan to pay another $2 for disk to digital conversion on Vudu.