True Grit

Rated 5.0

The new film version of True Grit saunters through a lot of familiar territory—it’s a western, it’s a Coen brothers’ movie, and it restages a story already rendered memorably in Charles Portis’ original novel and in the 1969 film version with John Wayne. But the 2010 True Grit has a quietly exhilarating freshness to it. The 1969 version sticks in the memory as the story of Rooster Cogburn, the character played then by John Wayne. The 2010 version has Jeff Bridges doing memorable work of his own in that role, but this time there’s no mistaking that True Grit is above all the story of Mattie Ross, the intrepid 14-year-old who hires Cogburn to help her track down the man who has just killed her father. Hailee Steinfeld’s calm, perfectly credible intensity in the role of Mattie is one of the great and special delights in this new version. The Coens do great justice to Rooster’s heroics and to the action sequences, but their approach reaffirms the centrality of Mattie while also reviving the hybrid spirit of the original novel—part picaresque adventure, part Dickensian romance and period piece, part pilgrim’s progress. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13