True Grit [2010]

Not the overwhelmingly entertaining flick I had come to expect, but it’s nonetheless a funny and hearty Western take on karma, with a decidedly old-Hollywood feel and a lush score by Carter Burwell.  The highlight of the film is, of course, Hailee Steinfeld in her breakthrough role as ‘Mattie Ross’, a firecracker of a young woman. She has the brio and confidence of an actress three times her age (and on her first movie role, no less). The fact that most awards have gone to scenery-chewing Melissa Leo (from The Fighter) instead of Steinfeld further proves there’s still considerable ageism in Hollywood. Hers is one of the best performances of the year so far. People need to forget she’s just  14 and embrace her for the fine actress she is. I mean, it’s no small feat stealing a movie from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, who also shine here.