Tuesday, November 27, 2007


No Country for Old Men is the darkest, most violent Coen Bros film since Blood Simple, and it surpasses the earlier film on both counts by a fair piece. I saw it last Wednesday night and have mulled it over a great deal since.

The script sticks remarkably well to the book, and what changes were made were mostly sensible given the time constraints of a Hollywood film. The cast are all bar none excellent in their roles. There are moments of great beauty and delicious suspense.

And yet I was curiously dis-satisfied after. Perhaps reading the book literally the day before was a mistake? Maybe I should wait a while and see it again before passing judgment, but I'm not sure at this point that I care to see it again*. Is No Country for Old Men a new Deliverance? A corn-pone Goodfellas? I'm conflicted. There's a bit of monologue spoken at one of his victims by Anton Chigurh in the book, and a key confession by the Sheriff that were expunged from the script. I think they need re-insertion for the film to work a bit better.

Or--don't read the danged novel and enjoy the ride.

*I would, however, care to see Blood Simple again.

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ellen cherry said...

god. Blood Simple is such an incredibly good movie. I wish more people have seen it. remember when Frances McDormand, when receiving her Oscar (what movie was that for again?), thanked her brother-in-law for making her an actor and her husband for making her a woman? i always think of her and M. Emmett Ward when i think of that speech, even though i know she won it for Fargo.

in other news, i failed my motorcycle license test. by one point. because i rolled over the white f***ing line at the last stop sign. doesn't matter, i couldn't make the hard a** left U-turn that they make you do and lost points there.

oh well. have to wait a week and try again!

need to see No Country. you're the third person who's opinion i respect to recommend it.

Nyarlathotep said...

I'm sorry about your license. What a drag! I hope it's not -20 and blustery when you re-try.

Blood Simple is my favorite Coen Bros by far. It's a serious, bleak film but also manages to blend humor into the suspense. No Country for Old Men is also funny at times, and I appreciate that the Coens recognize that Cormac McCarthy can be quite funny, despite the alarming number of slayings in his books.

alicia said...

I haven't seen Blood Simple, but would like to check it out. And I agree with your assessment of NCfOM, it had me for a while, it bated me and I really was getting into it.... And what did I get for being sucked in? a big fat nothing. In the end I was completely unsatisfied...and then the longer I thought about it, the more it seemed to be trying so hard for something that just didn't happen. Eh.

casey said...

I can't wait to see it, but we keep forgetting to make time. I haven't read the book, so I'll not have the benefit of comparison.

I do miss the days when the Bros' wrote their own material from scratch. They had some crackin' dilalogue.