No Country For Old Men (2007)*


Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Kelly Macdonald, Woody Harrelson

Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen

Summary: Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong near the Rio Grande

Other Nominations: Director*, Supporting Actor (Bardem)*, Adapted Screenplay*, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, Film Editing

I’m glad I watched this-I saw it in theaters when I was 19 and was unable to appreciate how great this movie is back then, probably because it starts off as more of a slow, atmospheric movie. No Country For Old Men does a remarkable job of expressing a theme, that of aging and how older people can sometimes feel like the world they live in no longer makes sense to them, even if in some ways things are the same as they always have been. This theme is expressed through both some of the direct dialogue involving Tommy Lee Jones, but also through the narrative-while the death of a main character, off-screen, with about 30 minutes left and the totally unsatisfying resolution to another character’s story may be confusing and nonsensical, that’s sort of the point: the universe is often a place that lacks logic, order or justice and often random chance rules.

Beyond just theming, this is a movie that has truly outstanding cinematography (not in a flashy way, but just that every frame is perfectly lit and composed) and is full of great dramatic tension. In terms of acting, Javier Bardem steals the show and gives off the kind of genuine menace and lack of feeling or soul that Charles Laughton had in The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Oliver Reed had in Oliver! No Country For Old Men is one of the best movies of the decade with original themes and an original way of presenting them in a remarkably slick package.

Rating: A


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