CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Have yourself a miserable little Christmas and celebrate with "No Country for Old Men!"

Do you hate Christmas?
Do you wish the Family Von Trapp were abducted by the Nazis?
Do you wish Lassie never found Timmy in the well?
Perhaps you are a card carrying member of the "Misery Love Company" crowd?
If so, have I got a movie for you!

"No Country for Old Men" is the Ethan and Joel Coen's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel. This bleak story has been cited by the National Board of Review and author Stephen King as one of the best motion pictures of the year. "No Country for Old Men" has been nominated by French Cannes Film festival and received four Golden Globe nominations for Best Director (Coen Brothers), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), best screenplay adaptation and best picture.

Born in the same state as H.P. Lovecraft, Rhode Island, author Cormac McCarthy has been recently praised with a Pulitzer Award for "The Road," a novel about post apocalyptic America. New England raised, educated in the south with acamedic creditials, McCarthy currently lives in New Mexico. The author rarely does interviews, with the exception of the Oparah Winfrey Show. As with his previously published books, it seems as if Cormac McCarthy's literary universe is godless with an obsession for death and oblivion.

"No Time For Old Men" opens with Tommy Lee Jones as the soon to be retired Sheriff Bell. Sheriff Bell contemplates his dimishing role as a law enforcer. The narrative then forcuses on two people Sheriff Bell does not meet; Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a sociopathic assassin, and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), an antelope hunter near the Rio Grande.

Moss stumbles accross a cache of cash from a drug deal gone wrong. Getting the scent of Moss, Chigurph hunts down this former Vietnam Veteran. After a series of cat and mouse encounters, one antagonist becomes the victor and Sheriff Bell contemplates the dreams he is having about his retirement.

The best part of "No Country of Old Men" is the center portion of the film. The duel between Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin is tense and well directed. As with their previous motion pictures, ("Blood Simple," "Raising Arizona") the Coen Brothers excell with this type of visual narrative. The drama occurs within the frame of the camera lens and the directors make excellent use of color pallettes with lights and shadows.

Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin perform with their usual stoicism. Javier Bardem is given the opportunity to steal the show from his leading men as the icy blooded Chigurph. Yet a good film demands more than some brilliant details, it should have something to say besides; "Life is meaningless."
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