True Grit

 

Paramount Pictures

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Some intense sequences of western violence including disturbing images.

 

Plot Summary: The murder of a young girl's father sends her into a gritty adventure to track down his killer and bring him to justice.

 

PopFam Recommends: Parents will probably enjoy the adventure and the journey True Grit offers, but some scenes could be too graphic and visually violent for children under 13.

 

What does it mean to have true grit? Mattie Ross thinks she knows the answer to this question when she first sets out to find the man who murdered her father. I'll admit, this isn't the type of movie I normally get into, in fact my husband was far more excited to watch it than I was, but something about this story grew on me. I began to cheer for Mattie, and hope that Rooster Cogburn had the type of grit she needed to track down Tom Chaney, her father's killer.

 

One of the first things that stood out to me was how different this movie was from traditional western films. It isn't about the sheriff saving the day, or the power of the law, no, Mattie Ross makes for the true hero of this tale and is not helped by the law, but ignored. She's one tough teen and won't take no for an answer, even when Rooster, the bounty hunter she wants to hire, refuses her offer of fifty dollars to find Chaney.

 

Rooster is not the only one with true grit though. Mattie finds herself in a trio when Texas Ranger LaBoeuf arrives. He's been tracking Chaney in hopes of bringing him back to Texas where he's wanted for yet another murder. At first, Mattie refuses him, letting him know she wants Chaney to hang for her father and not for anyone else, but in the end learns to trust LaBoeuf.

 

It's true, Mattie Ross is a one of a kind character who also provides the voice to this movie, both in narration and in the way the other characters are portrayed. Her voice, even when silent, is clearly heard. This is, without a doubt, Mattie's story being told, and the other characters are her own versions of them.

 

So, what does it mean to have true Grit? According to Mattie, it's having the will and strength to do what it takes to bring justice on those who have done wrong. She's always remembered Rooster and Ranger LaBoeuf for their grit and the adventure they took together.

 

True Grit is a journey into not only the wild thrill of bounty hunting and justice, but into the heart and mind of Mattie Ross. It is excitement and thrill at it best! I wasn't all that excited to watch this film, but in the end, I got a lot out of it! I learned the meaning of true grit!

 

A couple of my favorite special features are, Charles Portis: The Greatest Writer You've Never Heard Of, and Behind the scenes with Mattie Ross. Both of these will help you to see into the story and get a better understanding of the film and the meaning behind it.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• In your opinion, what is "true grit"?

 

• Have you ever felt like no one will help you? Like the people who should care just don't? Why?

 

• In what ways has God shown "true grit" for you and for your family? Give examples.

 

--RM

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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