Sunday, April 24, 2011

No Country for Old Men - 80

2008 Oscar winner. Joel & Ethan Cohen, Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor), Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson and that guy with the red stapler from Office Space.

I think the best way to start off explaining this movie is by describing it as delightfully creepy.  You don't really understand what is going on until about an hour into the movie, but the whole time you're riddled with curiosity while the movie generates a great amount of suspense.  Then the movie hits the 65 minute mark and ALL HELL breaks loose.  You understand more of what is going on and then an intense series of scenes happen back to back, and you're hooked.  The Cohen brothers don't leave much to the imagination, including some fairly graphic scenes with no lack of blood. Including a fairly remarkable scene where Javier Bardem has to clean a shotgun wound on his thigh. Graphic, and for the film it almost seemed necessary to show.
Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
Which leads me to my favorite scene in the entire movie. Javier Bardem blows up a car as a diversion so he can gather supplies from a drug store. At first you think he it going to siphon out gasoline from a car to somehow clean his wound, but instead he shoves a handkerchief down the gas cap and ignites it.  He then turns around without hesitation and walks into the store knowing exactly what was about to happen.  This is the first point in the entire movie you notice his character is harried.  He doesn't walk calmly into the store, he is visibly shaken and you can see a hint of concern on his face.  I mean, what else to expect when he's been shot in the leg and it losing more and more blood by the minute...

Our other main character, Josh Brolin, has also been shot.  He escapes to Mexico and wakes up in a daze to Woody Harrelson telling him he's in over his head.  Then of course, after Josh Brolin has committed all of these immoral acts, the one act that SPOILER ALERT gets him killed is when he flirts with the idea of adultery.  And it wasn't even Javier Bardem who caught up with him in the end.  More killing, more blood, more creeptastic events are preformed by Javier Bardem and somehow the Cohen brothers still have you on edge more than three quarters of the way through the movie.

The most suspenseful scene, in my opinion of course, happens near the end of the movie.  Tommy Lee Jones comes back to the crime scene at the hotel room and he sees that the locks have been "blown" in by the same device that has been breaking into other rooms (scariest friggin compressed air weapon ever...) and takes out his pistol before he walks into the room.  Meanwhile we see Javier lurking in the shadows of the dark in a room, staring at the same lock, well lack of lock I suppose.  And then Tommy Lee Jones throws the door open and stands in the doorway.  The shot of him illuminated by the light from the street lamps in the doorway, staring into imminent danger, unable to see his face but only the outline of his frame was so well done by the cinemetographers.  You want to hold your breath with Tommy as he enters the room, your body tenses as he takes that first step willing to put money down that Javier was going to attack him at any second....  I have started to realize how similar vantage points and camera angles are across Cohen Brother's movies.  Seriously check that out.  Think of comparing this with "True Grit".  I think it's a little uncanny actually.

Not to give away any spoilers for those of you who have not seen the movie, do we every really know what he does at the end?  The end I believe is left up to the viewers interpretation.  I spoke with two people and they both had different takes on the ending.  Which I believe, makes for great discussion and in turn is characteristic of an enthralling movie.

Picking between "There Will be Blood" and this movie is a no brainer.  It's this movie hands down.  Suspense that takes off like a rocket and then pair that with your curiosity throughout the entire film... a definite must see.  The ending is perfect for the story as well.  You get the idea that Javier Bardem's character is a ghost.  That he is still out there and still a psychotic killer on the loose, that will never be found or brought to judgement.

Just a thought; cowboy boots are very loud when you're trying to run away quietly from a psychopathic killer.  For future reference if any of my faithful readers are thinking about purchasing cowboy boots and trying to be sneaky like whilst wearing them....

Until next time, thank you Academy #80


  1. So... I shouldn't buy the cowboy boots?
    Great movie. So intense.

  2. I stopped reading at SPOILER ALERT. I haven't seen this one.

  3. Philly, this is something that you need to see. So amazing.

    Nicki, you were considering buying cowboy boots... oh boy...