Saturday, December 01, 2007

Movie Review: No Country For Old Men

No Country For Old Men

Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy and produced and directed by the Coen Brothers of Fargo and Raising Arizona, No Country For Old Men had a lot to live up to. It wasn't very long into the movie, though, before I thought to myself, "Damn, this is good." It wasn't just that every setting was just how McCarthy's description made me imagine it. It was just that so much of it was spot on. The dialogue was just so real and believable. Capturing all of the idioms we use daily is a hard thing for writers to do, I believe. To hear McCarthy's dialogue come out of characters, many of them ancillary and insignificant, who look as rough as the landscape that surrounds them, is nearly to be right there. It is authentic. Or it has the feeling of a portrayal of authenticity, at least.

Tommy Lee Jones is always good, but as a tired and death-obsessed west Texas Sheriff, he is perfect. And the villain, portrayed by Javier Bardem, is creepy and unsettling, and his philosophy gets under your skin.

It really was an excellent movie, despite a couple of quirks at the end that escape the normal Hollywood conventions. I imagine some might be upset with the way it ends, but any other direction would have been blasphemy.

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