Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Remake of True Grit

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him. (Luke 14:28-29)


I was unenthusiastic about the remake of True Grit with Jeff Bridges playing the role of Rooster Cogburn. I liked John Wayne's portrayal, and remakes in general usually don't impress me.

Two things changed my mind:

  1. A movie review that said the remake follows Charles Portis's novel (which I have read) more closely; the review also mentioned that it begins by quoting Proverbs 28:1;
  2. My barber -- who loves John Wayne and doesn't like Jeff Bridges -- told me that this is a must-see movie.
If my barber says I must see it, then I must see it. Merrianna, Laura & I watched it while we were in Illinois, by using some passes given to us by my newest son-in-law.

Well, after watching it, I will say that my barber was absolutely right. The film follows the book much more closely than Duke's version, and I think it's better for it.

(spoilers follow)

As the movie opens, Mattie Ross narrates that only the grace of God is free Everything else costs something. 

Above everything else, she wanted justice for her father's murder. What does justice cost in this world marked by sin?

Would you give your right arm for real justice? How about your left arm? 

At the end of the movie, we see Mattie's empty left sleeve. She did literally give up her arm to bring her father's murderer to justice.

It reminds me of the listener who remarked to the musician after a virtuoso performance, "I'd give anything to be able to play like that."

To which the performer replied, "Would you give eight hours of practice every day for twenty years?"

Or, as one motivational speaker said, "You can have anything you want, but you cannot have everything you want." You must choose, and you must pay.

If the lesson I drew from the remake seems a little stark, let me also hasten to say that I laughed more at this movie than at some comedies. Most of the characters are . . . well . . . characters.

Another of my sons-in-law sent me a link to what I consider a rather insightful review of the new True Grit. Here is the link:

Narrative and the Grace of God: The New ‘True Grit’

4 comments:

The Warrior said...

I've been wanting to see this one...so I didn't read all of this post. Nice to see another movie post, it's been a while. :-)

(I recently bought Valkyrie and Taken on BluRay, btw. Do you like Patton?)

Gravelbelly said...

I have been wanting to post a review of "The Book of Eli", but it looks as though I'll be getting a copy of my own, so I'll probably wait until I watch it through again. Great movie!

It has been many years since I've watched "Patton", but as I recall, I liked it.

"Valkyrie" & "Taken" are also good ones to have in the cinematic library.

The Warrior said...

I didn't know you liked The Book of Eli! That was fantastic! For once, a Christian who fights. :-)

Any other recommendations?

The Warrior said...

I should clear it up, I mean, for once a Christian who fights in a movie....