I'm not much for westerns. I think it's mostly because of all the bloodshed, both justified and senseless. I like the older westerns if strictly because they don't show said blood on screen. (That, and the themes and motifs.) Still, I'd be willing to watch them.
Such is the case with True Grit. Told from the perspective of Mattie Ross as she recalls events from her youth, the story chronicles a tale of action, adventure and revenge. (Fittingly the very things that can make for any story that sells.)
Charles Portis' novel depicts a world of rough dealings and tough people told through the eyes of a young girl. She understands the many things going on around her but she also sees things with an air of curiosity. She's told constantly to stay away but does she obey? Nope. (That's the kind of character I like.)
Joel and Ethan Coen's film keeps the spirit of Portis' novel very much alive and then some. Their casting choices are perfect, especially Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross. She displays Mattie's feisty behavior without any problem. Throw in Roger Deakins' cinematography and Carter Burwell's score, and you've got the ideal western.
It's pretty clear as to which of the two I favor the most. Granted, both are excellent works but one of them tells the story of Mattie Ross better than the other. It makes the story become more alive. Though the other work is very much worth a look too.)
What's worth checking out?: The movie.