It's been almost a week since I saw True Grit and my family and I are still speaking to each other in Mattie Ross's deadpan, contraction-less style of dialogue. The movie is wonderful—Jeff Bridges was made to play Rooster Cogburn and Hailee Steinfeld was made to play Mattie Ross. I hope True Grit sweeps the Oscars! (Seriously.)
If you want more from Charles Portis after seeing the movie, here's a bit of exciting information: three producers (including Bill Hader) have an option on The Dog of the South, Portis's 1979 release about a man who chases down his wife after she runs away with another man (not to mention his Ford Torino and his American Express card). Happily for us, Overlook Press has re-released The Dog of the South in paperback, along with Portis's over four novels.
Has the Coen brothers' adaptation of True Grit inspired you to seek out more books by Portis?
What's been your favorite movie of the holiday season?
In February I posted about the Coen Brothers' adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel True Grit. Yesterday, Paramount released the first trailer—and I gotta admit, I'm pumped. (I was skeptical about the choice to cast a non-Southerner as Mattie Ross, but it looks like Hailee Steinfeld can hold her own.) What do you think? The movie comes out on December 25, 2010.
From Never Let Me Go to The Social Network to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I to True Grit, fall 2010 is packed with book-to-film adaptations. Which movie are you most excited about?
When I went home to Arkansas in December, conversation on more than one occasion drifted toward the Coen Brothers’ new movie adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel True Grit, which opens on Christmas Day 2010.
Why are they re-making the film that won John Wayne his only Oscar? Were any locals auditioning for the role of 14-year-old Mattie Ross? Had anyone had a sighting of Portis, the novel’s reclusive author, who lives in Little Rock? And why on earth weren’t the Coens shooting the movie in Yell County, Arkansas, where the novel takes place? (Instead it’s being shot in New Mexico, which has high film incentives.)
For a while we’ve known that Jeff Bridges will be Rooster Cogburn, the U.S. marshal who journeys with Mattie on the search to find her dad’s killer (played by Josh Brolin). Matt Damon will play Texas Ranger La Boeuf. But yesterday, Variety reported that newcomer Hailee Steinfeld has been cast in the all-important role of Mattie, who narrates the novel. Although the John Wayne version plays up the role of Cogburn, the Coens plan to focus on Mattie’s point-of-view in their adaptation.
There’s little information available about Steinfeld online, such as her age or hometown.
True Grit fans: Can you see her as Mattie?