True Grit: A Thing of the Past?
I bet you a nickel that if you were to go through your encounters of the last day, you will find at least one instance when you said something that you really REALLY didn’t mean.
“No, I don’t mind muddy shoes in the house. I was actually [I will now] going to be vacuuming later anyway.”
“Oh, yes, I have tried that [obscure and gross] food that you suggested [keep insisting that I try]. It wasn’t really my thing [I hated it], but I can totally understand the draw.”
Now, one would argue that those small lies are more a gesture of etiquette and manners. After all, in today’s world, we never want to say something that might actually hurt someone’s feelings. Gasp!
So what if we [or our floors] get [muddily] walked on? At least we haven’t made the other person feel badly!
This type of doublespeak leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Of course, it is important to be tactful, but have we reached a point where we can no longer air our grievances with other people without it being a massive problem?
Gradually, over time, we have become so politically correct and worried about the self-esteem of others, that we begin to let slide acts that would not have stood a generation ago. When will we reach the breaking point?
True Grit is a film that takes place in a time when people were not so timid, not so concerned about the feelings of others. They had a clear idea of what was right, what was wrong, and what should happen to people who cross that line. Most of all, it centers on a strength of character that exists in our three unlikely heroes (a near-alcoholic US Marshall, a Texas Ranger whose tales are taller than he is, and a 14-year old girl avenging her father’s murder). These characters may be diametrically opposed, but each possesses true grit.
As I sat watching this movie, I considered the formula for true grit, and these are my results.
In order to have true grit, you must mean what you say. If you say something, you should be prepared to stand by it at any cost. Mattie, the youngest member of our group as well as the only female, only achieved her ends by backing up her words with money, the law, and sheer nerve.
Ingredient # 2
In order to have true grit, you must have a heart, brain, and courage (wow this is sounding like The Wizard of Oz!). You cannot stand behind your bold statements if you can’t balance yourself. In order to actually do what you say you are going to do, you need to have something to back it up. Whether is be intelligence or bravery or a combination, that is your call.
Ingredient # 3
In order to have true grit, you must have an honorable purpose. Acting on what you say does not have any meaning if you are not on the side of “good.” While certain situations lend themselves to clear interpretation better than others, if you mean well and think that your actions will help other people and the community in general, then in many cases you have this part of the formula.
Ingredient # 4
Is true grit really worth it? The characters in the film may have achieved their goals, but at great personal cost. They all sought retribution from the same man, and once received, it seemed that it just wasn’t enough (at least for the viewer).
Perhaps that is why so few people stick their necks out for what they believe in anymore. They know that the cost of standing up for their beliefs may do more harm than they are willing to suffer. We look at the bygone days of Patrick Henry’s famous saying, “Give me liberty or give me death!” and wonder, “Is liberty worth dying over?” These are the thoughts of people who have never had to worry about whether or not they are free. These are the thoughts of people who have not been deprived of their essential freedoms, rights, and privileges.
In order to have true grit, people have to have suffered and struggled against adversity. Otherwise, they will never be willing to fight for what is worth fighting for- the beliefs that keep them going.
Check out my poll to weigh in on which movie you believe should win best picture!
Acting: 4.5/5- I loved Jeff Bridges as well as Hailee Steinfeld. I admit that I am appalled that her name is not on the movie poster since she was the most powerful performance. What’s up with that?
All right Academy Award nominees, bring it on! Are you going to band together to take down The King’s Speech? It is my goal to see, review, and invent a treat for every single one of you by Oscar Night.
Academy Award Nominees so far in order…
- The King’s Speech
- 127 Hours
- Toy Story 3
- Winter’s Bone , The Kids Are All Right , The Social Network
Truly Gritty Cornbread (complete with bullet holes)
During the movie, the US Marshall and Texas Ranger engage in a shooting match during which they attempt to shoot cornbread. I decided that the perfect Oscar party food for this film would be a cornbread that has some grit to it as well as an honorary hole (through which a bullet could pass).
Knowing that you may already have a favorite cornbread recipe, I am including links of recipes for cornbread that I have tried in the past and enjoyed (I am a bit of a cornbread connoisseur and I like the gritty kind the best :) ).
In order to achieve a bullet hole, about 3/4 of the way through baking, take the pan out of the oven. Using the capped end of a sharpie marker (or other round device), put holes in your cornbread. Poke as many as you like, preferably one per cornbread square. Put it back in the oven to finish baking.
When I am able, I will upload pictures of my own bullet-holed cornbread!
Here are the links. Enjoy!