No Country for Old Men

I wish I could tell you that the reason I waited forty days to write this review was because I wanted to take time to really think it over and give you an honest review, untainted by initial glow. I'd be lying if I did, of course. Still, having had the time to reflect on it was useful. What I've determined is that this was a very good movie that, nevertheless, didn't have that great a story. The film is amazingly well put-together. Those people whose only experience with the Coen Brothers has been goofier movies like The Big Lebowski or The Hudsucker Proxy may be surprised at the lack of obvious Coen eccentricity, as well as the darker tone. Indeed, the stars of the film, Tommy Lee Jones as the weary sheriff, Ed Tom Bell, and Javier Bardem as the cold-blooded assassin, Anton Chigurh, seem positively restrained compared to the likes of George Clooney's Ulysses Everett McGill. Bardem, of course, has been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and it's no surprise--he creates such an intense, inscrutable character that it couldn't help but get noticed. For me, though, Jones was even better. He gave such a tight, unpretentious performance, it was just a joy to watch him. The rest of the cast was also quite good--Josh Brolin and Kelly Macdonald, in particular. Still, despite the fact that I loved the performances and the cinematography--as you may know, I'm a sucker for landscapes--the film as a whole left me feeling a little unfulfilled, particularly the way it ended. Actually, I think the closing scene may have been genius from a thematic standpoint, but in terms of providing a resolution to the story, the film just didn't deliver. Despite my objections, though, I have no qualms about giving No Country for Old Men top marks.

Viewed: 1/3/2008 | Released: 11/20/2007 | Score: A

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