Friday, December 24, 2010

The Best Western Since Deadwood

The quote above is one of the first lines in the new movie "True Grit," which I saw last night with SportMarty at the Davis for just $5.50.

The line, spoken by the film's 14-year-old heroine, Mattie Ross, immediately made me think of Sri Dharma Mittra, who ends every class by saying, "Be receptive to the grace of God."

Of course I loved the movie.

(I also loved the old John Wayne version, which I first saw when I was a little girl. Rarely are little girls main characters in westerns).

They say that the new version of True Grit is truer to the 1968 novel by Charles Portis, which is told from the heroine's point of view.

I love the new version, even though it was made by the Cohen Brothers - whom I've found to be just a little bit too smirking and clever for my taste, ever since Fargo.

But this film was unironic.

It had a great story and performances and wonderful writing that made me love language again; the characters spoke like they were straight out of Deadwood.

But the real draw was the tough heroine, who would not take no for an answer - who was tenacious and resourceful and had to follow her dharma and avenge her father's death at any cost.

(SPOLER ALERT). Of course there was a cost; she winds up in a pit of snakes and loses her arm and her beloved horse. The last is the only thing that unsettles her.

I thought it dealt with dharma, karma, redemption and feminism (although the heroine ends up a rather prim old maid who didn't have time for marriage....not that there's anything wrong with that).

And I loved the Biblical references - such as Mattie telling her mother not to worry, because "The Author of all things watches over me."

As this website points out,

When a mortician asks her whether she'd like to kiss her father's dead face, she says, "Thank you, his spirit is flown." In town without money, she's forced to sleep in a coffin at the mortuary, telling someone later that she "felt like Ezekiel in the valley of the dry bones."

A dying criminal makes Rooster promise to tell his brother, a Methodist pastor, of his fate, adding, "I will meet him later, walking the streets of glory."

Well worth seeing.

* * *

We saw the film at the run-down, privately-owned Davis Theater in beautiful Lincoln Square. That part of town just gets cuter and cuter; it felt like Bedford Falls last night, and almost made one forget about the recession/depression and two wars we're fighting.

* * *

This morning I awakened at 4pm despite the late call for morning Mysore class.

There was one thought in my mind, and I could not rest until I wrote it down and got it out of my head:

If I ever have access to land or money, I will open an ashram and horse rescue center.

with God's grace, of course.


  1. Wouldn't that be wonderful.Keep playing the lottery. I do.

  2. That sounds like a wonderful idea. old hood! I lived in L.S. Nostalgia galore. Happy Christmas Eve.

  3. this sounds like the perfect film to take mom-in-law to today. she's a western fan :-)

  4. just saw it-can't believe that was matt damon! now i want to see the original which i've never seen. netflix.

  5. $5.50? Good price. I paid $8.00 for the Matinee here. Good movie.