The Global Musings of an Educated Man..............vol.140
From the opening frame pitched against a gold and black dissolving picture, slowly coming into focus, we are witness to a dead man at the foot of front steps, and a horse with rider quickly gallops past, the viewer is once again brought into the cinematically visually striking world of the Coen Brothers and their understated genius. One is watching the opening scene of "True Grit." The story is about a young girl, Mattie Ross, played by first time actress Hailee Steinfeld; she is a young woman who is out to avenge the death of her father, struck down by the coward Tom Chaney, portrayed brilliantly by Josh Brolin. In watching the film, I began to assess the importance of the book of which the film is the adaptation against the back drop of our country's present day circumstances, opposed to the John Wayne 1969 version of the film which strays further from the book's intentions, and not ever being a considerable fan of John Wayne's work, never have wished to see that picture and probably never will, I was nonetheless struck by the connection that we the American Public have with the young girl Mattie Ross. We the American Public have been robbed of our "father figure" the American Dream by the coward Tom Chaney and his posse', portrayed by the Big Banks, all encompassing greed, reckless spending, the unnecessary wars, and a growing number of uneducated and physically unfit citizens unable to carry the once promised torch of hope and change for the better, only to be left holding an empty bag. We wanted to hire our 'Rooster Cogburn' to set out and avenge the losses that so many of us have had to deal with these past couple years, only to find out that what we got instead was just another selfish politician drunk on his own power. The film has the utmost relevance for today's society and for todays' young men and women, and I look forward to the day when I will be including it in my 8th Grade English classroom, accompanied by the book, as the summation of the artistic expression of the loss of innocence, a study of art, from fiction to film. I haven't seen "Toy Story 3" yet, nor "The King's Speech," but I have seen "The Social Network," "Black Swan" and "Rabbit Hole," and for now I can say that the Coen Bros, with the help of brilliant acting turned in once again by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, they have made yet again, another film worthy of being named "Best Picture."