No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Full Member
Sep 25, 2014

Title: No Country for Old Men (2007)

Tagline: There are no clean getaways.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce, Beth Grant, Ana Reeder, Kit Gwin, Zach Hopkins, Chip Love, Eduardo Antonio Garcia, Gene Jones, Myk Watford, Boots Southerland, Kathy Lamkin, Johnnie Hector, Margaret Bowman, Thomas Kopache, Jason Douglas, Doris Hargrave, Rutherford Cravens, Matthew Posey, George Adelo, Mathew Greer, Trent Moore, Marc Miles, Luce Rains, Philip Bentham, Eric Reeves, Josh Meyer, Chris Warner, Brandon Smith, Roland Uribe, Richard Jackson, Josh Blaylock, Caleb Landry Jones, Dorsey Ray, Angel H. Alvarado Jr., David A. Gomez, Milton Hernandez, John Mancha, Albert Fry Jr., Scott Flick, Elizabeth Slagsvol, Angelo Martinez

Release: 2007-11-08

Runtime: 122

Plot: Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon dead bodies, $2 million and a hoard of heroin in a Texas desert, but methodical killer Anton Chigurh comes looking for it, with local sheriff Ed Tom Bell hot on his trail. The roles of prey and predator blur as the violent pursuit of money and justice collide.

This modern western/crime thriller type movie deliberately subverts the classic roolz of story telling.

The hero wins? Huh.

Who is the hero? Think you know him, get to know him, and then.....

The good guys then, do they win?

I can't tell you. Spoiler alert. But I have said this movie subverts the roolz.

The baddie wins then? Um.

The ending? Has been much criticized, though not by me. It is gnostic, subtle, unusual in the extreme.

This is a truly terrifying murderer, not so much as cruel for the hell of it, as a force of nature.
I realized about half-way through my first viewing of this movie that I'd read the book (well, listened to it on tape) a few years before (the light dawned when Anton's pneumatic cattle gun came out). The Coen brothers' interpretation is just masterful - an example of when the cinematic version can rival or rise above its print origins. "Goodfellas" is another example of that. I suspect I could watch those two movies in an endless loop.
Ok. I'll cast the dissenting vote.

Sometimes, it feels to me, some (particularly male) artists get caught in this post-adolescent loop that nihilism is just so fucking cool! The Coens are one of the prime examples of this (along with Tarantino and Thomas Anderson). And this film is just one in a long list of films by the Coens that I found self-indulgent and annoyingly, self-consciously nihilistic. The problem is, when they get into these tropes, you know that everything and everyone in the film is going to turn to shit and you're going to wish you had a warm shower and some Xanax waiting for you at home to wash off all the bleakness.

As an existential psychotherapist, I know we have to look at the dark. But we really don't need to spend several hours wallowing in it.
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