45. True Grit (2010)

“Why did they hang him so high?”
“I do not know. Possibly in the belief it’d make him more dead.”

When Mattie Ross’ father is murdered by Tom Chaney, she is determined to bring him to justice. She hires US Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the toughest man she can find, as he has ‘true grit’ and she believes he is the man to bring the fugitive to law.

She is also approached by a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf, who also wants to bring Chaney in for a murder he committed in Texas, but as he is determined to have Chaney hanged there and not in Arkansas, as she would like, she decides to refuse LaBoeuf’s offer. When Cogburn leaves without her, the tenacious Mattie follows him, only to discover the two men have joined forces and plan to split the reward money. When LaBoeuf leaves them after an argument, Mattie and Cogburn chance upon a gang hideout, and discover that Chaney is now a member of that gang. As they close in on the murderous Chaney, things get very dangerous indeed.

I’m not a huge fan of westerns normally, but I may have to rethink my view. The cinematography was incredible, the acting sublime, and whilst successfully evoking the Old West, it still managed to maintain the look and feel of a typical Coen Brothers film. My only complaint? – Josh Brolin was woefully underused, as I think he deserved a bit more screen time. Apart from that, it’s near-on perfect. Is it too early to name my Film of the Year?


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