I saw True Grit

True Grit was written by Arkansan Charles Portis and takes place in Arkansas in the late 1800s. Mattie Ross is a farm girl from Dardenelle whose father is killed in Fort Smith by a man named Tom Chaney. Well Dardanelle and Fort Smith are real places. Fort Smith was the city at the border of Indian territory. As an Arkansan myself, I pay particular attention to how the media and the arts portrays Arkansas. Usually people get the accent wrong for one thing.

Having read the book before seeing the movie, I can attest that this version does follow the book more closely than the famous John Wayne version. The Coen brothers keep the narrator from the book, the much older Mattie Ross retelling her childhood tale of vengeance against the man who shot her father, and keep much of the snappy dialogue in the original Portis tale. Of course, these two elements are close to the Coen aesthetic of snappy dialogue and an “original” voice being the center of its tales. It is also superbly cast and even though there are some big names in this movie, the actors manage to blend into their characters and their celebrity vanishes.

This was definitely one of the best movies I saw in 2010.

Holidailies 2010 Badge