This is a story of determination and revenge. A girl with indomitable will hires the meanest federal marshal to capture the man who murdered her father.
I know very little about classic Westerns in the 50s and 60s and it was also my first John Wayne movie. It felt a little wrong to have your first experience with a cinema icon be near the end of his career. It’d be like having your first Schwarzenegger movie be Terminator Genisys. So it was difficult to see this movie without a more modern perspective.
Kim Darby’s portrayal of Mattie Ross is fascinating. I initially thought she was a snooty brat a la Veruca Salt. But she’s a young teenager who helped her dad run and take care of the ranch. She is smarter than everyone else in business so she thinks she’s smarter than everyone else in everything. That confidence both helps and hinders her. Her stubbornness allows her to overcome almost any obstacle but her words doesn’t amount to much against men with guns.
John Wayne sometimes allows himself to be Rooster Cogburn, but there are plenty of moments when he’s John Wayne, Western Icon. I think I need to watch more Westerns to get a better idea of him and the genre. True Grit is part character study, part hunt bad guys and part “oh whoa, Robert Duvall is in this movie? Dennis Hopper? You’re unrecognizable!”
2015 was an up and down year for me. 2011 remains the worst year ever, and I’m not sure what my best year is. I’m okay with not knowing; I like to think my best year hasn’t happened yet.
2015 was full of promise. I felt like I was waking up after a few years’ sleep. Recharged and restored, full of ideas, ready to work. And then I’d have some kind of setback. Emotional or physical, it knocked me out. I’d fall into my old habits.
Ready, ruin, recover.
2015 was frustrating. Like running up a hill of mud.
But I’m making small progress, which is better than none. I learned that what matters is putting in the time and work and getting it done. Work through the wreck. Whatever I do will never be perfect or wholly to my satisfaction. What counts is that the idea gets executed and that I learn from the experience to make the next thing better.