Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Country for Old Men (2007; Joel & Ethan Coen)

Ed Tom Bell: Now that's aggravatin'.

Ed Tom Bell: *
points to a bottle of milk* Still sweatin'.
Wendell: Whoa, Sheriff! We just missed him! We gotta circulate this!

Ed Tom Bell: Well, okay. What do we circulate? Lookin' for a man who recently drunk milk?

In this Coen masterpiece, we are introduced to a well constructed, almost new age western (to use those terms lightly), where we follow Llewelyn Moss, a nobody, as he finds a satchel full of money from a drug deal gone bad. He tries his hardest to hold on to it all, even after a psychopath (carrying a mightily fun weapon) starts to close in on him to get the money for himself.

To make up for my absence, I thought I would add an extra long summary to better serve my reading audience. Except not really, it just seems long because most other movies I review can be summed up with a few words. Anyway, on to the actual reviewing.

To commemorate this review, I will start with... the soundtrack. Actually, as far as my memory can hold up, most of the movie was played through without any music at all. However, one thing that always struck me about this film that I can always love the Coen's for is their expertise with dialogue. It really feels like they captured the region's accents perfectly, and used it to help capture the mood from scene to scene.

Another aspect that was captured perfectly in this film was the intensity of everything happening on screen. Now this film is no horror of any sorts, but some of the events that unfold will leave you at the edge of your seat waiting to find out what is happening on the other side of the door. Most of the credit for that goes to Javier Bardem who plays the psychopath. Almost all of the scenes where he is forced to have conversations with other characters, you are never quite sure what is going through his head or how he is going to react.

One last performance to note would be that of the sheriff. By far the wisest character of them all, it almost seems he is reluctant to grasp on to the enormous chain of events that is unfolding around him. His deductive reasoning is amazing, and he tries to convince himself it is not sometimes simply just to give himself some sort of solace from the brutal truth. To prevent this review from growing to large, I will just touch on the camera by saying it is in solid form and fully competent.

After all of that, nothing negative really rings in my memory, so that would leave this piece of art at the comfortable score of...

Score: 5/5

Notes: Mother-in-Law, Chicken Crates, Mexico Border

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