Sometimes I wonder if the Coen brothers aren’t the best film makers around today. Tim Burton is up there, too. But, film for film, these guys make real movies with real characters. Even a not so good Coen movie is better than the usual Hollywood shite out there, except maybe for that one with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which I didn’t see, because the general consensus was that it was the one bad Coen Bros. movie.
“No Country For Old Men” is, in fact, one of their best movies. This is a real film lover’s film, too. It’s not one of the Coens’ off-beat, comic escapades. Sure, there’s some humor in it, but humor isn’t the goal here. This is an ambling, mood and character piece.
It’s almost three films in one. We have Llewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin), who, while out hunting in the desert, stumbles across the remains of a large drug deal gone bad. He finds a case of money and figures, hey, finders’ keepers, and ain’t no one taking it from me.
But then there’s Antone …(and I can’t remember how the Hell you spell the characters last name, but the actor is Javier Bardem), who will do most anything, kill most anyone, despite a twisted code of ethics, to get the money back. And wait till you see what he uses to kill someone. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one used before. Antone is perfectly insane. I was uncomfortable every time he was on screen.
Then there’s the third generation sheriff, played by Tommy Lee Jones, a man finding that things aren’t like they used to be. Jones is rather moving in his performance, especially in the final minutes. There’s a sense of sadness in him here. Somehow I feel I’ve never given him enough credit as an actor. I guess it’s all those lame movies he or his agent keep choosing for him to do. “U.S. Marshalls”? “Man Of The House”? Stop that.
These stories take place individually, three separate, lone men, yet all connected by the same series of events. And I think the cinematography is almost another character as well. This movie is beautifully shot.
This film was based on a book by Cormac McCarthy. I didn’t know much about this author until just about a year ago when a friend of mine recommended his latest book, “The Road”. It’s good, but not musical comedy, if you know what I mean. However, what I did notice while watching the movie was the similarities in the style of the material. Even with the Coen brothers screen adaptation of “No Country”, I could feel McCarthy’s writing in it.
Once again, this is a movie I would highly recommend seeing, but only to those that don’t mind something slower, more carefully developed. There are no wild car chases, or giant CG robots or crazy digital pirate ships you don’t care about, just great acting and great atmosphere that you can’t help but care about, because the Coen brothers know how to do it. Yeah, you should go see this movie.
See ya in line for popcorn, folks. Uh, no nachos for me, thanks. You know that’s not real cheese, right?