Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for No Country for Old Men


NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
USA, 2007
Running Length: 129 minutes
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly McDonald
Director: Joel & Ethan Coen
Screenplay: Joel & Ethan Coen
Cinematography: Roger Deakins

Based on the relentlessly bleak novel by Cormac McCarthy, the latest from the Coen brothers is a definite return to form after their lackluster re-imagining of The Ladykillers.  It is a faithful adaptation yet the Coens manage to find black humour even in this harshly downbeat crime saga.

While out hunting Llewellyn Moss stumbles upon a gruesome scene.  Dead bodies, heroin and cash are strewn across the desert floor.  Foolishly Llewellyn decides to take the cash.  He knows it is foolish and that very bad men will come after him, yet does it anyway. Sure enough it is not long before he is pursued by the psychopathic Anton Chigurth.  Also watching him is local Sheriff Ed Tom who has spotted him on his return to the crime scene.

Given that this is essentially a three man game of cat and mouse, an amazing amount of carnage builds up. Those who have not read the book will be shocked and thrilled by what comes on screen, while those who have will be delighted to see the novel done such cinematic justice.  Regular Coen collaborator Roger Deakins shoots the unforgiving landscape with precise framing, making great use of the wide expanses and natural light.  Visually and aurally this film is a masterpiece and for the Coens a very welcome return to their roots.

5 comments:

  1. Huge fan of the Coen brothers. :)

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  2. I liked The Hudsucker Proxy very much and Fargo, too, but the rest of their movies are like Scorsese flicks sprinkled with black humor. Not my cup of tea.

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    1. That's interesting... I never liked The Hudsucker Proxy much. Fargo though, is one of my all time favorites!

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  3. One of my favorite from the Coen brothers

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  4. "Call it, friendo." A movie I've only seen once, but I remember a lot about it. Still, I'll want to see it again at some point...

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