Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie of the Week – No Country for Old Men

This week’s movie: No Country for Old Men (2007)

Llewelyn Moss comes across a drug deal gone wrong in the Texas desert, discovering a bag full of money. He takes the money, never imagining the evil that will descend upon him to recover it. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell tries to find Moss first before the vicious, murderous Anton Chigurh gets to him.

The film is from auteurs the Coen Brothers (who have also made the brilliant films Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and True Grit). No Country for Old Men got them out of a bit of a rut, as their previous two films (Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers) represent the weakest of their career to date. Not only is No Country for Old Men among their very best films, it also won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Directing and Writing. The Coen Brothers worked with their frequent collaborators composer Carter Burwell, cinematographer Roger Deakins and production designer Jess Gonchor on the film.

The cast is excellent as well, and works more as an ensemble. It features Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem (who also won an Oscar for his work in the film), Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, and Stephen Root.

No Country for Old Men is the best adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel to date (although, I do think McCarthy’s original screenplay also produced a great movie with The Counselor). The film is a modern western dealing with the nature of evil, fate and corruption of the modern world. It is built around wonderful performances (Bardem in particular creates one of the decade’s most iconic villains in Anton Chigurh), beautiful aesthetics and sharp writing. The Coen Brothers’ trademark dialog is just as fantastically witty as ever. The film is graphic and funny, something that few are able to pull off in a serious piece. It is a must-see for fans of the Coen Brothers and westerns. It is among the very best films of the last decade.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray and Video On-Demand

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