The end-of-year movie rush is on, and it’s rich in films of Jewish interest, including the Coen Brothers’ latest, True Grit. Tablet Magazine offers its top 10.
Yes, Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas. But in the empty hours before or after the General Tso’s, we also like to go to the movies. There is, of course, no reason why the movies Jews see should have anything to do with Jewish themes. But as it happens, this year’s crop of holiday movies includes a number of films with Jewish links—along with plenty of true crime, true love, true obsession, and, thanks to the Coen brothers, True Grit.
Last year, the Coen brothers made A Serious Man, which replayed the trials of Job as visited upon a physics professor in suburban Minnesota, circa 1967. This year, they’ve brought their fans something else entirely: a Western. And not just any Western, but a remake of True Grit, the 1969 movie that netted John Wayne his only Oscar. The Coens, whose first venture into Westerns was 2007’s No Country for Old Men, have Jeff Bridges stepping into Wayne’s shoes as Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as a drawling Texas Ranger, and a newly discovered actress—Hailee Steinfeld, the half-Jewish niece of “Body by Jake” fitness guru Jake Steinfeld—playing Mattie Ross, the film’s teenaged heroine.
In the poems of Silver Roses, the late Rachel Wetzsteon—who took her own life last year—is still very much alive