Saturday, July 27, 2013

Daydreams


My crazy mismatched "Autumn Foliage" socks. : P I can't wait for cooler weather!
It hardly seems possible that July is almost over! The summer seems to have flown by so quickly! In a way, it's rather sad that summer is almost half over, but I don't really mind since I love all the seasons in turn, especially fall. I've been thinking a great deal about fall lately, and I really am looking forward to apples and pumpkins and cooler weather. I love summer, but fall is definitely my favourite season- there's just something about it that makes me so glad! : )
  I've been daydreaming a lot lately- about fall, about what it would be like to live a hundred years ago-  you know, things like that. : ) This week in particular I have been especially busy with an all-week dance intensive and working at the stand, which is why I haven't posted much. After dancing literally all week, I was glad to have today to catch up on reading and writing and do housework and clean bathrooms and other fun things like that. : )  I thought I would post a short update on life in general, since I haven't posted much about what I've done this summer.
  Today I've had some time to read one of the new books I recently got, Widow of Gettysburg by Jocelyn Green. About a week ago I bought two new books, Widow of Gettysburg and Stealing the Preacher.


 I started reading Stealing the Preacher several days ago, but I wasn't really getting into the story, so I decided to start Widow of Gettysburg instead. I've only read two chapters but already I really like it. The writing reminds me somewhat of Lynn Austin, but that's not the only reason I like it, of course ( Lynn Austin is my favourite, but I'm not that biased!) So far I really like the way the writing flows together, and of course it's about the Civil War, so that interests me a great deal too. I would have liked to read the first book in the series first, but as I couldn't find it anywhere and since I don't think the stories are really connected, I've just decided to read this one first. So far it's very good!





  All week I've had "Who Am I?" perpetually stuck in my head, and so I've been singing it more than is probably necessary. But then, you can never sing too much Les Mis. : ) The other night I was singing it and when I got to the part where he says, "Who am I? I'm Jean Valjean...", Sadie goes, "Who's that?" And I'm like, really? : P

  Sadie and I have been working our way through East of Eden these past few nights- and working is really the right word for it! Oh my goodness, it's simply dreadful. For those of you who don't know, East of Eden is a miniseries based on the classic John Steinbeck novel that was made in the '80s and stars Jane Seymour, which, I will admit, is really the main reason why we wanted to watch it in the first place. But my goodness, she's just awful! Sadie had watched a bit of the first episode last year- I was away- but since it was so awful, we didn't bother to finish it that time. However, we decided to try it again, and we are now halfway through the second episode (it's about eight hours long total...yeah) and it is absolutely awful. Jane Seymour's character, Cathy, is just about the worst character I have ever seen, in anything. I'd like to finish it, because it's such a classic and just so I've seen East of Eden, but I don't think I'd ever watch it again.

On July 16th, Sadie and I went with Sadie's violin teacher to hear a rehearsal for an orchestra concert with a guest violinist at a frou-frou institution near where we live, which I will not address by name so as not to disclose any information about the general are in which I live. ; P The rehearsal itself was, um, exceedingly boring and I didn't care for the music, but Sadie and I took some very nice pictures of the grounds and made an enjoyable day of it.


  This is the bookstore, one of my favourite stores ever! They have lots of books and stationary and lots of other pretty, useless little things, and I just love it. We found this books called The World of Downton Abbey that is all about the show and the time period and we REALLY wanted to buy, and we even took it to the desk on the point of buying it, only to discover that we were $1.25 short. The salesclerk was very cordial and asked us if we would like him to hold it for us, and we were like, "Yeah, can you hold it till August?" : P Hehe, we actually didn't say that to him, but afterwards we considered it. I did, however, buy a lovely little journal and some very pretty stationary, and Sadie and I plan to get the Downton Abbey book another time.




    We thought this house looked kind of like Green Gables. : )



                                         The Smith library, another place I could spend hours in. : )



 These are some books we happened to find in the library. : P




              The Antheneum hotel. It's always reminded me of the Grand Hotel from Somewhere in Time. : )


        The iconic bell tower. Since we were with a group of other younger violinists (I didn't quite fit in....), we had to visit the *crazy* lady in the bell tower and hear (again) about how the bells work and the history of the bells and how it's the best job on the grounds to ring the bells and blah blah blah. But of course we were very respectful and nodded and said all the appropriate things. : )


   I'm very glad to be able to spend time at home after an entire week of dancing all day long! It was a good experience, but after about the second day I had pretty much concluded that I don not like having to go to ballet class every single day. (Friday morning I was singing "One Day More"- yes, I've been in kind of a Les Mis mood this week.) This afternoon I had "a complete turning out and spring (summer) cleaning", as Beatrix Potter would say, and now I am going to read my new book before turning in for the night. As Jane Austen so eloquently puts it, there is no place like home for real comfort. I am so grateful to come home to my nice little house each evening after working at the stand! There are other places I'd like to go someday, but I know I will always want to come back home.
    So farewell, dearies, I hope you've all had a good week! : )




  P.S. My dear sister Sadie has posted some historical hair tutorials on her blog, most recently a hair tutorial in the style of Emma Woodhouse from the 2009 Emma. I'm sure she'd love it if you stopped by! : )

Friday, July 26, 2013

Period Drama Quotes Quiz Answers!

Here are the answers to last weeks' game! Thank you so much to everyone who played! : )


                                                            #1  Miss Potter

  Beatrix Potter: Looking back, the city and I never much like each other. After all, an unmarried woman was expected to behave in very particular ways, which did not include traipsing around from publisher to publisher with a gaggle of friends.



                                          #2  Bright Star

 Toots: Mama, Fanny wants a knife.
 Mrs. Brawne: Whatever for?
 Toots: To kill herself.



                                    #3 Our Mutual Friend

  Noddy Boffin: Quack! goes the duck, meow! goes the cat, bow, wow, wow! goes the dog!


                                         #4 East of Eden

  Mrs. Trask: I named him Adam, like in the Bible. Page one, if you've a mind to take it up.




                                      #5 True Grit (2010)

Mr. Barlow: Tell us, Mr. Mr. Cogburn, in your four years as U.S. Marshall, how many men have you shot?
Rooster Cogburn: Shot or killed?
Mr. Barlow: Let us restrict it to killed so that we may have a more manageable figure!


                                              #6 Angel

Angel Deverell: Everyone always told me my dreams were lies, because I said out loud wht I should have kept secret. But all I ever wanted was to make it true: to wish and to wish and to wish, and to make it true.
(I don't recommend this move either, but for some reason I've always loved this line!) : )


Dear Mr. Pinch!!!


                                   #7 Martin Chuzzlewit

Augustus Moddle: Do you care what happens to you?
Mr. Pinch: Well, yes, I must admit I do.
Augustus Moddle: I don't. The elements may have me when they please!



  #8 Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Mrs. Palmer: Mr. Palmer, if only Mr. Willoughby had gone home to Combe Magna, we could have taken Miss Marianne to see him, for we live but half a mile away.
Mr. Palmer: Five and a half.
Mrs. Palmer: No, I cannot believe it is that far, for you can see the place from the top of our hill. Is it really five and a half? No, I cannot believe it.
Mr. Palmer: Try.


                                         #9 Little Dorrit

Jeremiah Flintwinch: And are you afraid of me?
Amy Dorrit: No, sir.
Flintwinch: Well, you ought to be. 'Cause I'm a terror when I'm roused.


Yes, I know this picture is not from that scene, but it was one of the only ones I could find of them together.

             #10 Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil

Horatio Hornblower: England, sir?
Captain Pellew: Yes, England, boy! A big, damp, foggy island nor-noreast of Ushant. Think yo ucan find it?
Horatio: Yes, sir.


                                      #11 Jane Eyre (2011)

Jane Eyre: Am I a machine without feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, obscure, plain and little that I am soulless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had posessed me with with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you!



                              #12 Great Expectations (1998)

Pip: It seems that these past few years I have been harbouring an illusion. More than one, in fact...And you humoured them. You led me on.
Miss Havisham: Yes, I let you go on.
Pip: Was that kind?
Miss Havisham: Who am I, for God's sake, that I should be kind?

                                                           Players' Scores

                                                            Sadie Ann - 140 points
                                                         Miss Dashwood- 60 points
                                                             Hamlette - 20 points
                                                              Isabella - 10 points


What other sorts of games would you enjoy?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hidden Places by Lynn Austin

Fragrant blossoms heralded spring, but the orchard was also a place of secrets, or heartaches....

  A deep yearning for home had led Eliza to Wyatt Orchards ten years ago. Now widowed with three young children, she faces mounting debts and the realization it is all up to her. But she has no idea how she will run an orchard alone.
 When a stranger appears at her doorstep, Eliza guesses he is no different than the other out-of-luck characters searching for work during the Depression. But the familiarity with which Gabe tends to the farm raises unanswered questions. With a vulnerable heart, she is unwittingly drawn to his gentle ways. But Eliza also fears Gabe hides a past and motives that could jeopardize all she has fought to attain for herself and her children.

   This is one of my favourite books by my very favourite author, Lynn Austin. (I used to say it was my favourite of all her books, but I'm not entirely sure now because While We're Far Apart is dangerously close to becoming my #1.) It is the story of Eliza Rose Wyatt, a widow with three young children trying to run her family's orchard by herself during the Great Depression.
 What I love most about this book is how it goes back and forth between two different eras- three, actually- all intertwined together in the same story. I actually like the parts where the different characters are telling their stories better than the actual story set in the 1930s, even though I love the whole thing. My favourite parts are Lydia's Story and Aunt Batty's Story, because they were set back in the 1890s, and plus I just loved reading about Aunt Batty as a young woman. All the characters have become very dear to me, just like old friends. (After all, I have read it four times...) : )

  Characters

   Eliza Rose Wyatt-- Eliza is not one of my favourite of Lynn Austin's heroines, and she actually really annoys me sometimes, but I really admire her hard work and strong personality. Reading about her life as a child made me like her a great deal more, I think, because I felt like I knew her that much better after reading about her early life. She is very stubborn and somewhat headstrong, which sometimes makes her kind of irritable, but she genuinely wants what is best for her children and is a very good mother. She is very independent after her husband Sam dies and very determined to run the orchard on her own (without any help from her nosy neighbours), and I admire her for her determination. She's actually quite a bit like me- willful, stubborn, sometimes impatient. Overall I do really like her character, and the fact that she is sometimes irritating makes her even more believable as a person.

Gabriel Harper/ Matthew Willis-- I just love Gabe. He's one of my favourite Lynn Austin characters. I love his gentleness, his quiet earnestness, and how he can be just as stubborn as Eliza to do what's right. Before coming to Wyatt Orchards, he was a reporter in Chicago, and before that he served in the Great War with Matthew Wyatt. His background isn't told in as much detail as Aunt Batty's or Eliza's, but after he leaves Eliza finds a notebook in the shed where he stayed that contains a recount of his childhood, which I found interesting and helpful. His father was in many ways similar to Frank Wyatt, if not quite so horrible, because as hard as Gabe tried, he could never win his approval. I like books that allow you to know the characters in great depth, as this helps me to understand them more, and knowing Gabe's childhood made me love him even more.

Aunt Batty-- I think Aunt Batty is possibly the character I found the most interesting. At least, I enjoyed reading her story the most. She is Eliza's father-in-law's sister-in-law, her late husband's Aunt, who comes to stay with Eliza and her children when the roof of her cottage collapses in the winter. She is known for being a little odd, and at first Eliza is irritated by her constant talk about God and the power of prayer, because she has lost almost all faith in God, but soon she grows to love Aunt Batty and her strange ways. Reading about Aunt Batty as a young girl was like meeting a kindred spirit, because I found her so much like me! I can identify with her fascination with Nellie Bly, her love of books and writing, and her somewhat solitary personality. Her relationship with Walter was one of the sweetest I have ever read. In most of Lynn Austin's books there is a wise, somewhat odd old lady character who has an influence on most everyone throughout the story: for example, Lily in Wonderland Creek, Delia in A Light to my Path. I think, however, of all those characters Aunt Batty is most likely the one I have come to love most.

I love how this story is set in rural America. Since I've grown up on a farm myself, I also liked that the story took place on an orchard. I also love reading about small towns during the 1930s, because towns like Deer Springs sound like such quaint, happy places to live. I can completely understand Eliza's longing to live in a town like that, where everyone knew everyone else and all the neighbours knew her name. : )
 I really liked the way the author weaved everyone's stories into the picture, so that we got to know all the characters better by the end of the book. It gave me more of an understanding of all of them, especially Eliza, and that is the main reason why I love this book so much.

 Overall I find Hidden Places completely wonderful. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me homesick for a time before I was even born. (Lynn Austin's books do that...) The story is so intricate and well thought out, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction or a good story.

 There was a movie made of Hidden Places several years ago, but I haven't bothered watching it because a) I don't think I would approve of the cast ( I know everyone always says that when a book is made into a movie, but still...) b) from what I've heard, it's not very true to the book (the character of Jimmy is completely cut out), and c) because it's a Hallmark movie. Yes, I admit I'm a bit prejudiced. : P


 P.S. My darling sister Sadie has recently posted a nineteenth-century hair tutorial on her lovely blog, which I encourage you all to go check out!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Period Drama Quotes Quiz



 I've decided to try a game this week! Below are 12 quotes from 12 different period dramas. Leave your guesses in a comment and I will respond with your score. 5 points will be rewarded for each correctly guessed period drama and 5 points for guessing the character who says the line, and if there are two characters in question, 10 points will be rewarded for naming them both. A total of 145 points can be earned. I will post the answers next Friday. Have fun! : )

#1 Character 1: Looking back, the city and I never much liked each other. After all, an unmarried woman was expected to behave in very particular ways, which did not include traipsing around from publisher to publisher with a gaggle of friends.

#2 Character 1: Mama,              wants a knife.
       Character 2: Whatever for?
       Character 1: To kill herself.

#3 Character 1: Quack! goes the duck, meow! goes the cat, bow, wow, wow! goes the dog!

#4  Character 1: I named him            , like in the Bible. Page one, if you've a mind to take it up.

#5 Character 1: Tell us,                        , in your four years as U.S. Marshall, how many men have you shot?
       Character 2: Shot or killed?
       Character 1: Let us restrict it to killed so that we may have a more manageable figure!

#6 Character 1: Everyone always told me my dreams were lies, because I said out loud what I should have kept secret. But all I ever wanted was to make it true: to wish and to wish and to wish, and to make it true.

#7 Character 1: Do you care what happens to you?
       Character 2: Well, yes, I must admit I do.
       Character 1: I don't. The elements may have me when they please!

#8 Character 1:              , if only                  had gone home to                    , we could have taken                to see him, for we live but half a mile away.
       Character 2: Five and a half.
       Character 1: No, I cannot believe it is that far, for you can see the place from the top of our hill. Is it really five and a half? No, I cannot believe it.
       Character 2: Try.

#9 Character 1: And are you afraid of me?
       Character 2: No, sir.
       Character 1: Well, you ought to be. 'Cause I'm a terror when I'm roused.

#10 Character 1: England, sir?
          Character 2: Yes, England, boy! A big, damp, foggy island nor-noreast of Ushant. Think you can find it?
           Character 1: Yes, sir.

#11 Character 1: Am I a machine without feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure and little that I am soulless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you!

#12 Character 1: It seems that these past few years I have been harbouring an illusion. More than one, in fact...And you humoured them. You led me on.
         Character 2: Yes, I let you go on.
         Character 1: Was that kind?
         Character 2: Who am I, for God's sake, that I should be kind?




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Beautiful Day for Photography!

Guess what, everyone....I finally bought a camera! : ) Actually, Sadie and I pooled our resources and bought it together, but I really don't mind sharing in the least. Anyway, ever since we got it almost a week ago we've been taking lots of pictures and several silly videos of our animal friends ( someday I ought to introduce them to y'all, they're really quite fun.) : P Yesterday was such a beautiful day and so I took some pictures outside that I thought I would post. : )



  I shall never tire of this view. : )



   Nor this one. : P





   The oat field, taken from inside the woods.



   This is a picture I took from inside the woods of the horse pasture. I like it because the trees are so dark and the sun is shining so brightly on the grass.

  Yesterday when I went outside, I found our ridiculous cat Oliver lying in a pile of hair from when our dog Willie had a haircut the other day. It looked so funny to see him just lying there, as though he had just slaughtered a sheep or something! But that's just the kind of thing Oliver does. : )







       You are so weird, Oliver. : P






    The cornfield, and Sadie in the cornfield.


   Yesterday and today have been extremely warm, but very sunny and beautiful and I've been spending quite a bit of time outside. I haven't the time for anything more, but I wanted to share these pictures with you! : )

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

True Grit (2010): A Review


   People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old-girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.

                                                  ~Mattie Ross

    True Grit is one of my favourite books, my favourite western, and one of my favourite stories ever. It's a classic story about grit, perseverance and justice which has been around for half a century and yet is still unknown to many. I am quite an admirer of westerns and this is undoubtedly the best I have ever seen, because of the depth of the story, the incredible acting and the accurate depiction of the rough reality of the American west, and the courage of one young girl who stopped at nothing to see the man who murdered her father brought to justice.

  True Grit is a movie I've been wanting to review for quite some time, and since this is Hero Week over at Hayden's blog The Story Girl, I thought now would be the perfect time to do so. Mattie Ross is really the heroine of the story, but Rooster Cogburn and Mr. LaBoeuf are heroes in their own right as well and so I thought that it would be very fitting to review True Grit. 

   
   First of all, this review is bound to be studded with spoilers. It can't be helped. : P




"Reach for the sky.."

  Let us begin with Rooster. The character of Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn is a hard one to figure. He is a hardened, moody U.S. Marshall and former rebel soldier (which isn't stressed in the movie but is very prominent in the novel) who has an affinity for drinking, has killed 24 men in his four years as Marshall, and who can't roll a cigar properly. At first meeting, he is not very likable at all. In fact, he's absolutely disgusting. He is a man known for his "true grit" and toughness, which is what brings Mattie to him in the first place. He agrees to hunt down Tom Chaney for her but completely underestimates her and thinks she is out of her mind wanting to accompany him on the chase. Even from the beginning it is clear that he is not a bad character, but neither is he in the least affectionate and he is a very unpleasant travelling companion.
  However, by the end of the the story, Rooster has changed dramatically. He realizes he was wrong about Mattie and is actually the one who saves her life by carrying her to safety after she is bitten by a rattlesnake (the "ride to death" scene....*sniffle*.) He is truly a hero, even though at first he seems more like a drunken cowboy without feelings or compassion. He demonstrates compassion to Mattie on more than one occasion and by the end has proved that he isn't as hard an unfeeling as he seems most of the time.



      Mr. LaBoeuf, played to perfection by Matt Damon, is an arrogant and pompous Texas Ranger who wants Chaney for his own purposes, and who only comes along on the hunt for Chaney because he thinks Rooster is incompetent and because he "knows Chaney, and it is at least a two-man job taking him alive." He is at first very self-important and, like Rooster, completely underestimates Mattie in her resolve, mocking her and even whipping her when she catches up with him and Rooster after they (try) to leave town without her, but as the story progresses he becomes much more likable and even though still slightly annoying at times, he does manage to make himself useful. In the book, Mattie describes Mr. LaBoeuf (pronounced La-beef) as being very good-looking, which Matt Damon is not, unfortunately, but he suits the character perfectly and I don't know of anyone who could have played this part better.
  Mattie's first encounter with Mr. LaBoeuf is at Mrs. Floyd's boarding house, where they are both staying. One morning she wakes up and he is sitting in her room (which is kind of weird...), but Mattie is not at all intimidated by him (very few people intimidate Mattie Ross) and asks him if he is "some kind of law", to which he replies, very cockily, that he is a Texas Ranger. This is actually one of my favourite scenes because the dialogue between the two is so amusing, and so faithful to the book, which doesn't happen often these days. After Mr. LaBoeuf tells Mattie about Chaney and they have argued about what to do with him once he is caught, he tells Mattie that while he was sitting there watching her, he gave some thought to stealing a kiss, but now he would like to give her five or six good licks with his belt. Mattie, not in the least intimidated, replies that one would be as unpleasant as the other, and proceeds to tell him that if he wet his comb, it might tame that cowlick. : P

   The rivalry between Rooster and Mr. LaBoeuf is terribly funny.  Mr. LaBoeuf doubts Rooster's competence to handles such an infamous criminal, especially since he often "makes use of the bottle", and Rooster thinks Mr. LaBoeuf is stuck up and self-important. In a way, they are both correct, which is in part the reason why their dislike of each other is so amusing. Most of the dialogue is straight from the book and it is just hilarious the way they interact.

  Rooster: (Mr. LaBoeuf has been talking about malum in prohibition and malum in se, just after he was shot and his tongue was mangled.) "It astonishes me that Mr. LaBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly bitten his tongue off, yet not only does he continue to talk but he spills the banks of English."

  Rooster: (after missing a shot he fired at a bottle he threw up into the air.) "That China man is running them cheap shells on me again."
  LaBoeuf: "I thought you were going to say the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your eye."

 Rooster: (after singing for a long time.) "That was "Johnny on the Low Ground". There are very few fiddle tunes I do not know. Once heard they are locked in my memory forever. It is a sadness to me that I have sausage fingers that will not crowd onto a fretboard. "Soldier's Joy!" (Resumes singing.)
  LaBoeuf: (to Mattie) "I don't believe he slept."



    Mattie Ross, the real heroine of the story, is played perfectly by young actress Hailee Steinfeld. As I have mentioned before, I read the novel after I had seen the movie twice, but Hailee Steinfeld really does suit Mattie's personality perfectly and I was very impressed with her performance. I didn't know this until after I'd seen the movie for the second time, but Hailee Steinfeld was actually fourteen at the time the movie was made, the exact age of Mattie Ross. Usually young characters like Mattie are played by at least slightly older actors, and so I was even more impressed to learn that she was actually fourteen at the time.
  Mattie Ross is one of my favourite heroines in all literature, because at the young age of fourteen, in an era when most girls her age would be helpless, she is willing to do all it takes to see the man who killed her father brought to justice at last. She is one of the bravest heroines I know, and I really admire her courage, perseverance, and grit.



   Tom Chaney is one of the most pathetic villains I have ever encountered. It seems as though he is constantly whining and complaining about how "everyone is against him", and generally making a nuisance of himself. In the book it's even worse than the movie. Even though he is the main topic of conversation throughout most of the movie, he actually doesn't appear in the flesh until nearer to the end, when Rooster, LaBoeuf and Mattie finally catch up to the Lucky Ned Pepper gang. He is very sarcastic to Mattie because, like everyone else, he thinks she is just a helpless little girl, and is just a disgusting character.

 
    And speaking of disgusting....that pretty much sums up Ned Pepper. There is not a shred of decency in this character. He is just horrible. I suppose it was good of him not to kill Mattie on the spot, and he did give Chaney strict instructions not to harm her, but besides that he was just awful. In the book (oh, here I go again..) there is an entire scene when Mattie is in the captivity of the Lucky Ned Pepper gang, before Mr. LaBoeuf comes the the rescue, and Ned forces her to sign a lot of checks that he has, because he can't write. He makes ink out of a bird feather and his own saliva and mixes it up in the palm of his hand. It's really quite interesting. Anyway, I am a tad disappointed that scene is not in the movie, but if they did put in all these scenes from the book that I wish they had, it would be really super long. So I understand.


"Wait...are we trading again?"
       There aren't very many other characters besides the ones I've mentioned, but I think Colonel Stonehill is definitely worth mentioning. He is a businessman Mattie meets with near the beginning of the movie whom her father had done business with back when he was alive, and Mattie tries to convince him to buy back some ponies that her father had bought from him. He is extremely reluctant to do so, and the scene where they are negotiating is absolutely hilarious. When they finally do reach an agreement, it is exactly what Mattie had wanted in the first place, and he buys back the ponies begrudgingly and she buys a horse from him which she names Little Blackie. When she tells the stable boy to thank Colonel Stonehill for her, he says "No, ma'am! I ain't' supposed to utter your name!" : P



  The scene where Mr. LaBoeuf comes to the rescue ("Never doubt the Texas Ranger!"), shoots Chaney and then shoots Lucky Ned from such a long distance is possibly my favourite. It really shows Mr. LaBoeuf's good side- at least, that he actually has a good side- and it's just so exciting when he fires the shot and they don't know if it hit Ned or not, but then he slowly falls off the horse and Mattie goes wild with excitement. It shows that even though she's for the most part a serious girl who possesses wisdom beyond her years, she is still a child who gets excited from time to time. The part where Rooster is "one against four" is very heroic as well.
  Then, when everything seems resolved, Chaney (where did he come from?) shows up again and Mattie shoots him, causing him to fall off the cliff. However, the force from the shot thrusts Mattie into a pit full of snakes and gets bitten before being rescued by Rooster, who then takes her on Little Blackie to get help. This is the most tragic scene in the movie, because as they ride into the night, Little Blackie grows weary, and Rooster whips her to make her go faster, which makes Mattie very upset and she starts crying. Finally, Rooster has to shoot the horse and carry Mattie himself, at which point you think, "Oh look, he really does care about her." Because he really does. He didn't want to harm the horse, but he cared about Mattie so much more that in comparison he didn't really care what happened to Litttle Blackie. It is a very touching scene that is one of the best in the movie, and the song that is played while they are riding is my favourite on the soundtrack.




 A quarter of  a century is a long time.


Mattie at 40 years old

      Unfortunately, this movie does not end happily. Mattie recovers, but she loses her arm and ends up rather a sour old maid living the rest of her days alone, as it would seem, although that is not entirely true because in the book it says that she does have a brother Frank and a sister Victoria whom she remains close to. She learns that Rooster was travelling with a Wild West show and goes there to find him, but is told that he is dead. (Trivia time: the two men shown are actually Frank James and Cole Younger, who toured the south with their Wild West company in 1903 after their careers as notorious outlaws in the James-Younger gang. Actually, the James' and the Youngers are mentioned quite often in the novel as Rooster's former fellow rebel soldiers, but in the move it is not mentioned that that's actually who these two men are.) Mr. LaBoeuf is never heard from again, and the movie ends with Mattie visiting Rooster's grave. It is a very sad ending, but it's not an ending that makes you dwell on what a horrible ending it is, because it really isn't horrible. It's just sad.

  The score of this movie is very well-done. I had never before heard of the composer, Carter Burwell, who seems to be rather obscure, but apparently he is most famous for composing the music for the Twilight movies....yuck. Anyway, the music is just beautiful. The main theme is "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, which is what is heard the most throughout the movie, and "What a Friend We Have In Jesus" is used near the end, when Mattie is shown visiting Rooster's grave....*sniffle*. I really like how the composer incorporated these old hymns into the soundtrack, because they're so beautiful and they make the soundtrack sound all the more authentic and western-ish.


  All in all, this is a very well-made movie that I would recommend to anyone who loves westerns or a good story. True Grit is rated PG-13 for western violence and language. The language isn't too severe, but if you have something like ClearPlay I think that would be a good idea. Also this is a western, my friends, so obviously violence is a bit of an issue. However most of it isn't too extreme, the worst being a scene where a man gets his fingers cut off, and there is also a hanging scene near the beginning where you may wish to turn away. Other than that, there is no other inappropriate content.

  I had the body removed to our plot and I have visited it over the years. No doubt people talk about that. They say, "Well, she hardly knew the man! Isn't she a cranky old maid?" It is true, I have not married. I never had time to fool with it. I heard nothing more of the Texas officer LaBoeuf. If he is yet alive, I would be pleased to hear from him. I judge he would be in his 70s now, and nearer 80 than 70. I expect some of the starch has gone out of that cowlick. Time just gets away from us.

                            ~Mattie at 40 years old



   This ends my true account of how I avenged Frank Ross's blood over in the Choctaw Nation when snow was on the ground.

                                         ~Mattie Ross

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