No Country For Old Men


A Coen Bros. Picture

Pip here, and I got me another review, boy howdie I do!

What a cold and menacing film this is, and it’s a welcome home to a pair of my favorite filmmakers. I say welcome home because they’ve strayed from the ranch a bit. Not to say that they can only do one kind of film, because I think they could probably do any kind of film, but this film and those that are somewhat similar in their catalogue of perfection are what they call Decidedly Coen. There’s just something about them… something… strange.

This sinister mother licker ain’t for the faint of heart. In fact I was about plumb tuckered out by the end, my back was tensed up more than the time I green-broke my first horse. Many have written about the villain, the likes of which we have never seen… well maybe Jaws. Many have written about what happens at the climax and how disappointing or spot-on it was. I’m going to write about none of that, mind you. I’m just going to put out a general word of warning.

No Country For Old Men is adapted from a book, beautifully written though it may be, and suffers and benefits from this fact. As all adaptations do in the end. I always like to look beyond the fact that it was adapted and just sit on the film by itself. I’ll take the book on the same measure. For those that don’t know of (as in have read) the book, for those that do not absolutely love the Coen’s past work (except for Ladykillers… we shall, for sake of argument, pretend that film does not exist and while we’re at it Intolerable Cruelty… funny and witty it was, but it was no Coen Bros. film), for those that do not love stories on the independent (read: not predictable) side, then I simply recommend steering clear of this film.

I do this from time to time and I suppose this is why I’m not a professional critic (that and I don’t know what deadline means). Some films most people either just wouldn’t like, aren’t ready for, would be offended by, et al, and there’s nothing wrong with that. This doesn’t make me superior, in fact it simply labels me as a dork extraordinaire. If you answered “but I do!” to any of the exceptions I placed before my warning, then please do see this film at your earliest convenience. If you don’t love it to pieces, as I do, then you’ll at least walk away with an appreciation for what you witnessed, which is one of the greatest films I’ve seen in a long while, to hell with all those that were jolted out of the ending.


4 Responses to “No Country For Me Either”

  1. Rachel on November 27th, 2007 10:04 pm

    I don’t think anyone could of written the witty film Intolerable Cruelty quite like the Coen brothers managed to do…And that is my two cents about that.

    Other than that this was a wonderful review as usual. ;-)

  2. Mentok the Mindtaker on December 12th, 2007 12:12 pm

    I’m commenting a bit late, I know, but just saw the film last night.

    Wow! Almost European… almost Fellini-esque in the quality of its story.

    At the end of the film, I heard several people around me exclaim “What the fuck was that? What kind of ending was that?”

    I thought it was the perfect ending, because it forced you to actually think about the film, think about the subtleties of what it was trying to say.

    Usually, Hollywood films don’t leave you thinking about the film’s meaning. In 90% of cases, that’s because the film has no meaning. Even in that sliver of other “Oscar contender” films, they make sure to wrap up the meaning in a nice little package, tie a bow around it and hand it to you at the end, like a Xmas present, so there’s no confusion.

    But with this one you have to think, and that’s what’s great about it.

  3. Tsuru on December 12th, 2007 9:40 pm

    Movie of the year…. soooo good. Ending was PERFECT!

  4. James D. Newman on December 14th, 2007 12:42 am

    I agree that the ending was perfect. The sheriff got away with his life, and he knew it. You can talk all day about justice and duty, but from the kind of shaky and broken monologue you knew that he had looked into the heart of the whirlwind and learned humility. In a certain way the film reminded me of Heat — the veteran being brought down by his inability to control the spiraling complexity of his human relationships — his wife didn’t listen to him, and her mother didn’t listen to her, but you should have predicted that. You can be damn sure there was no-one in the psychopaths life who would have flouted his simple instructions — and that is what makes anarchy no country for old men. A healthy person isn’t capable of being that cold and detached — and the best thing for us to do is mind traffic lights and love our family, and hope we never run across someone like him.

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