Archive for the ‘No Country For Old Men’ Category

No Country For Old Men – review – Film Comment #33

Film Comment – #33 – No Country For Old Men – The Coen Brothers – 2007

After seeing “No Country For Old Men” again, I had forgotten how good it was. I mean I knew it was good, but on second viewing it is near perfection for the Coen Bros. I think it is their second best film behind “Fargo” and just ahead of their debut “Blood Simple”.

The film based off of the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, follows Liewelyn (Josh Brolin) as he comes across a bloody mexican standoff and $2 million dollars in cash in a briefcase. He thinks he can get away with walking off with the cash, until he decides to head back to the scene of the crime to give water to one of the men who was still alive…big mistake, because he soon has Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem in an Oscar winning role), who is the pure essence of evil incarnate on his heals.

What occurs is a meticulous telling of a man on the run. You know those movies where you say, “What are you doing? I would do this, you idiot!” This isn’t one of those films. Liewelyn’s actions are planned out step by step, and you always think he is one step ahead of Chigurh, but somehow through clever thought, Chigurh constantly follows these steps. Unfortunately the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) seems to be one step behind each of them. These characters live in a world that is no longer governed by local lawmen. It’s not the world of the old west anymore. It is a violent, ever-changing world that is quickly turning into a new world of crime.

“No Country For Old Men” has some of the sharpest dialogue out there, thanks to Cormac McCarthy. The performances from every character are top notch, even the small cameo by Woody Harellson. The direction by the Coen Bros is spot on and builds the intensity gradually to full blown suspense. It truly is a triumphant film, and deserving of best picture of 2007. It was my pick for fourth best film of that year.

Grade: A