No Country for Old Men
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DESCRIPTION: Acclaimed filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen deliver their most gripping and ambitious film yet in this sizzling and supercharged action-thriller. When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence. Not even west Texas law can contain it. Based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, and featuring an acclaimed cast led by Tommy Lee Jones, this gritty game of cat and mouse will take you to the edge of your seat and beyond right up to its heart-stopping final act.
- Working With the Coens: Reflections of Cast and Crew
- The Making of No Country for Old Men
- Diary of a Country Sheriff
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I like Fargo better, but they are quite simiar other than one being in hot west Texas and the other in Minnesota and North Dakota and a whole lot of humor in Fargo, and none to speak of in No Country for Old Men. Both are dark and sinister with relentless villains. Hope that's not a spoiler.
No Country For Old Men is somewhat reminiscent of Blood Simple, their first outing, but infinitely more bloody. When I first viewed it in the theater, quite frankly I was NOT well for the ending. Absolutely no loose ends were tied up. A subsequent viewing helped me realize it was for the best. How the story ends becomes very much an individual affair, especially when the Brothers themselves veered from the original novel ending.
When the interpretation of a work is totally up to the viewer, that, of course, always makes for a more compelling artistic presentation simply because the art does not do your thinking for you: this one is no different.
Hands down, the most salient aspect of this was the performance of Javier Bardem and his Oscar was, in my humble opinion, well-deserved. His disturbing calm was most disconcerting. You did not (or more aptly, COULD not) invest anything into him emotionally. This was indeed deliberate. There was no need to, actually, to adequately present the story. Even Llewellen (Josh Brolin's character) you felt something for, and Tommy Lee Jones, who, regardless of the character, ALWAYS manages to make you care about him, was probably the most fleshed-out character.
Actually the movie was not as slow as one is led to believe...it is most deliberate and since the Brothers get right to the point at the very beginning, you are indeed intensely involved with how this will play itself out. To be perfectly honest, this is hardly the best Coen brothers outing; the advance buzz vomited such phrases as "the greatest thing the Coens have done," "a masterpiece," "monumental achievement," blah, blah, blah; Realizing that this is the nature of the publicity beast, my immediate reaction upon my first viewing was "It was good but certainly not all that."
If you are a Coen Brothers fan, you will certainly appreciate it. If not, it is still a decent movie. Whether it deserves to be picture of the year is certainly debatable.