A Gritty True Grit

Since the weather outside is truly frightful, I have plenty of time to think about why I enjoyed True Grit  so much.  I think the main reason would have to be that it seems much more real than the older film version.
Jeff Bridges makes the character of Rooster Cogburn simultaneously heroic and hilarious.  And man, can he get a mean look in that one eye!  Matt Damon was also fine as LaBoeuf, the duded-up Texas Ranger.  Barry Pepper was almost unrecognizable as the bandit Ned Pepper.  (Was he cast because he’s a Pepper?)  He played the part well, regardless of his last name.  And the girl, Hailee Steinfeld, did a good job of playing the part of Mattie Ross, and not getting overshadowed by her costars.
Since this is a Coen brothers film, one should certainly expect it to be gory, perhaps even graphically so.  There were definitely some moments of gore, but on the whole, I thought it was rather tame, considering the directors.
True Grit was believable, realistic, enjoyable, and humorous.  It tells a story–based of course, on the novel by Charles Portis–of a determined girl who will stop at nothing to find her father’s killer.  There is, of course, more to it than that, and this adaptation does an excellent job of showing that.  It is also a story about survival and trust, and of course grit.