Randy and I had a date night tonight. Went out to dinner - had some good food - then went to see True Grit. Our kids had seen it and told us it was good, and boy, were they right! What a great story! Randy had seen the original, but this was new to me. Still, the story and the cinematography, the music, the writing and directing by the Cohen brothers, the acting - everything - came together really well. The movie's takeaway will keep me thinking about it for some time. Through believable characters, we learn a memorable lesson, whether the writers and directors intended we do so or not. The movie does not come across as trying to teach us. But teach us it does, through strong characterization the consequences of those characters' actions.
All stories give us heroes that want something. Sometimes they get what they want. Sometimes they don't. Their choices should always have consequences - repercussions or rewards - whatever those choices deserve - maybe less, maybe more. Sometimes getting what we want comes at a cost. Yet sacrifice, self-giving or unexpected, can make the greatest stories.
True Grit gets high marks in my opinion, for doing just that.