Sunday, March 23, 2008

No Country for Old Men

You Can't Stop What's Coming.

No Country for Old Men
has the unmistakable mark of a Coen brothers film. It's part thriller, part comedy, part western, part action film. Somehow the Coens are able to wrap all of these elements into one fantastic film. Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem weren't that famous before this film, but they are now and their careers will certainly take off from here- they both gave smashing performances. There is no way to describe the experience of a Coen brothers film. It's not heartwrenching or a "ride of your life" really. I guess it's as close as you're going to get to swashbuckling cowboy-pirate-assassins in Texas duking it out as who will end up the most ultimate badass. It's just...a story. It's epic because it's not. It'll scare the sh*t out of you but you won't be able to look away. It's the Coen brothers, what more can I say?

Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) is your average dude. He's a Vietnam vet, lives in Texas in a trailer; his wife works at Walmart. Out hunting deer, Llewelyn stumbles across a drug exchange gone wrong. Everyone's dead; there are the drugs and there's the money, so why not take the money? It's a decision that will give him far more trouble than is worth even two million dollars, because the bad guys are about to come looking for it. Psychopath Killer on the rampage to kill Llewelyn is quite possibly the devil incarnate. Asked to describe how dangerous he is, one character replies, "Compared to what, the bubonic plague?" This guy is pretty much pure evil through and through. And he's coming for Llewelyn Moss. Trying to catch up with both of them as Llewelyn runs for his life, is Tommy Lee Jones as the local sheriff and Llewelyn's wife, Carla Jean.

In a Coen brothers film, you can't pick favorites. ALL of the casting is great; ALL of the acting is great; the cinematography is gorgeous too. How can a film that won 83 of 114 film award nominations be criticized? I really did love Brolin's performance; he really embodies his character. And Bardem's character won't just give you the chills, he'll give you nightmares. This is one of Tommy Lee Jones' best roles, mostly because he just gets to play himself. And Kelly MacDonald, the Scottish actress, sure does pull off a great west Texan accent.

Conclusion: The Coen brothers create instant classics. No Country For Old Men is no different, it really is incredible.

Rated: R for
strong graphic violence and some language.

  • Heath Ledger had been in talks to play Llewelyn Moss
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen share the record of four Oscar nominations for a single person (in this case, shared by the two)
  • The credited editor for this film, Roderick Jaynes, is a pseudonym for Joel and Ethan Coen. Despite his non-existence, Jaynes was nominated for an Oscar for editing No Country For Old Men.

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