Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Country for Old Men (2007)

I had heard a lot about this film, and when it got nominated for several Academy Awards my interest peaked, but as much as I love the Coen Brothers I just didn't have the time to see this film until now on DVD. I thought the film was a strong character piece where the landscape played an important part in the narrative. I don't know what else to say about this movie that hasn't been said before. I came away from the movie knowing that I had seen a good piece of cinema. They say they don't make good films these days but "No Country for Old Men" is proof that they do. I've been a fan of the Coen brothers since "Blood Simple". In fact my film "Deadly Obsessions" was an attempt in trying to make a film like "Blood Simple" albeit on a radically lower budget then the Coens. Part action adventure, part film noir, part crime drama "No Country for Old Men" is a film that will stay with you long after you see it, and good films do that. The three characters we're most interested in are: Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin). All three characters propel the movie forward and make the movie a fascinating view.

Now in the past maybe this type of film would have been relegated to the drive in, and would be one more B movie that would come and go. The film would probably star a Lee Marvin as it's star or perhaps a Charlie Bronson, but in today's Hollywood B movies are given A+ budgets and released in mass. These types of story have been written in time memorial by such authors as Jim Thompson, Dashell Hammet and Micky Spillane. A lot of these stories were turned into films long ago, and have been remade and repackaged as new. That's what "No Country for Old Men" is a repackage film noir, action adventure, crime drama. Only this time the Coens put their masterful touch to the genre and presto change-o you have something that once was old is now new.

The performances, the cinematography, and even the art direction all lend themselves to a movie that is unique yet familiar to us all. I really liked the film, and there is some criticism as to the way the movie ends, but I saw nothing wrong with the way it ends. All it's characters are done, and the story is complete. The characters move on, and fade into the sunset.

I don't know about you but I only buy DVD's of films that I like, and that I want to see again. "No Country for Old men" will be in my permanent collection for some time. It's a movie that stays with you, and it's a well crafted film that does deserve the awards it has earned.

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