Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen
I was shocked by how normal this movie was; I guess the Coen brothers have gotten tired of having to be original and genre-bending all the time. I am not complaining; this was a pretty decent western.
After outlaw Tom Chaney murders her father, 14-year-old Mattie Ross is determined to see him hang. She hires Rooster Cogburn, a trigger-happy drunk, to bring Chaney to "justice." Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, much to his dismay. They are also joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who is pursuing Chaney for murdering a senator.
Like I said, this was a decent western. I was particularly impressed with Steinfeld's performance; we all know how horrific the outcome can be when child actors are involved. Her character was clever, determined, and didn't have to resort to seduction to get the men to do what she wanted. I did find the spanking scene to be disturbing; it seems that women in movies have to be degraded and humiliated in ways that men do not. I understand that they were demonstrating that it was a different time and that women were pretty much treated like property (LaBoeuf's pervy comments about kissing Mattie when she was asleep accomplished this already). But it was still unsettling. I was googling it earlier to see what other women thought about it. Based on the many spanking blogs singing its praises, I guess the general reception was positive.
Anyway, as far as modern westerns go, it's this or The Hateful Eight. So...
Body count of 14.
Hailee Steinfeld was only 13 when she was cast.