...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 16, 2007

No Country For Old Men - 7

The Coen Brother's may have just made their best film. And maybe just the best film of the year. Using Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name, the story weaves together the lives of a few old men. Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem, The Sea Inside) is a hired killer- cleaning up the mess of the guys who sit behind the big desks and make all the deals. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is "retired" and spends his time hunting in the Texas desert. Having stumbled upon a suitcase of money he is determined to outsmart it's rightful (or wrongful?) owner. The body count rises as this cat and mouse game continues through out the film. While the film is quite violent, the Coen brothers emphasize the seriousness and tragic nature of killing rather than glorifying the carnage (It is much more Flannery O'Connor than Quentin Tarantino or David Cronenberg). But it is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) who gives this narrative its spiritual, even religious, connective thread. His conversations and voice over talk of the nature of being human with the certain knowledge of our death, but with the uncertainty and mystery of it's happening and why. Despite the seriousness there are a few humorous lines, but it isn't used as comic relief, but rather show the closeness of the comedic and the tragic. What might be the most powerful aspect of the film though, is the body language of the characters and the somber and quiet visuals and pace of the film. This is an essential film for the serious film viewer.

1 comment:

Dragon Management said...

I've seen this film twice, both over a month ago, and a I'm still thinking about it.

Bells' despondency and Chigurh's eschewal of the "herd morality" keep rolling around in my head.