Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Movie Review: No Country For Old Men

Last night, I went to see No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers' adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. I was looking forward to this movie for three reasons:

1. Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors, and although NCfOM is not among my favorite of his works, it's still a great book and probably the one best suited to serve as a template for a screenplay.

2. Coen brothers. I enjoy their movies, especially Fargo, Raising Arizona, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (yes, the exclusion of The Big Lebowski is deliberate...it just never did much for me.) I thought that they were an unusual choice to make this movie, seeing that they gravitate towards offbeat humor, and there's really nothing funny at all about the novel, so I was eager to see their take on it.
3. Javier Bardem. I first became a fan of his after seeing The Dancer Upstairs, and his incredible performance in The Sea Inside absolutely blew me away. Maybe incredible is the wrong adjective, I mean, it was incredible precisely because it was so credible. Okay, moving on, he's an amazing actor and I was excited to see him play the bad guy.

Overall, No Country For Old Men did not disappoint. The plot is simple: in rural Texas, Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) is out hunting and stumbles upon the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong- a pile of dead bodies and a briefcase containing two million dollars. He takes the cash and runs. On his trail is Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a remorseless killer hired to retrieve the money. Tommy Lee Jones is the local sheriff who hopes to find the outmatched Llewelyn before Chigurh does.

The casting, scenery, and slow pace, fraught with constant tension, perfectly captured the sentiment of McCarthy's novel. And Javier Bardem is one scary MF, even with that ridiculous haircut. I think it helped that I had read the book, because I knew right away who was who, although there was one part of the plot that I couldn't figure out (I'll try not to spoil it....but who was the Mexican guy in the suit at the bus station?). The Texan accents are laid on pretty thick, and my friends (two Colombians and a French guy) who went to see the movie with me had trouble understanding some of the dialogue, so if that is a potential problem for you, I'd recommend renting it when it comes out on DVD and watching with subtitles.


Anonymous said...

I have trouble respecting the movie credentials of a person either did not get or did not enjoy the greatest bowling movie of our time.

I suggest you watch "The Big Lebowski" again and again until you develop an appreciation for this flawless film.

Good day.

KcM said...

I think anon there just peed on your rug. This aggression will not stand, man.

I think the Mexican guy in the suit, and his compadres, were just another wave of bounty hunters sent out by the head office (Stephen Root). Despite Chigurh's views on the matter, it looks like those guys basically tried to zerg Llewellyn Moss.

eileen said...

Yeah, I decided to ignore the recent anonymous commenter (I think it's someone who follwed me over from a sports site I read) but if it keeps up I might have to disallow anonymous commenting.

I agree with your take on the Mexicans.