We went to see True Grit. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly. Jeff Bridges was phenomenal. The girl was an unknown. I went home. I looked at the list of actors on the cover on the left. Matt Damon? Who did Matt Damon play?
I actually had to look it up. Matt Damon played LaBoeuf, one of the major characters. I never noticed all through the movie. I had not watched the awards shows, so it simply didn’t dawn on me that Matt Damon was in the movie.
And I never recognized him in his role.
That’s how well he played it.
They make Westerns differently now. You can see the true grit of the American West of those years. You feel the cold of the prairie. You sense the danger. You smell the body odor of the people. And how do they make all their teeth look so very bad?
True Grit is the story of a fourteen year old girl, Mattie Ross (Hailie Steinfeld), who is on a mission to find the killer of her daddy. We never meet her mother or her siblings. She hires Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), a U.S. Marshal with an eye patch and an edge to track and bring back, dead or alive, the killer of her father, Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Along comes, for part of the way, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), a Texas Ranger who is also after Chaney for killing a Texas State Senator.
The unlikely trio plod along. Since each values honor and loyalty, somehow they manage to get along.
The story is a remake of a novel made into a motion picture with John Wayne in 1969. It is eminently watchable and very enjoyable in 2011. And of course, you’ll recognize Matt Damon – even though I did not.