Call It, Friendo

Friday, June 06, 2008
We finally got to see No Country for Old Men last night. (Mild warning: possible spoilers but you've all seen it already anyways so who cares)

Not going to bother with a full review as it seems everyone else has already seen it and written their own reviews. For some quality reports on the film, check out here, here, here, here and here. The short and sweet story, I enjoyed it. Not a great film but it certainly had its charms. The story, albeit slow at times, was interesting although I doubt I could read McCormack's original. The best part of the film though was definately the cast. Tommy Lee Jones was absolutely amazing as the about-to-retire Sheriff trying to not only solve a number of violent murders in his county but save one of the men who may or may not be involved before he too ends up dead. Josh Brolin has come a LONG way since he starred in The Goonies and Young Riders. Of course, Javier Bardem steals the show. And no, not because of his hair. To be honest, I noticed it at the beginning as that's something many folks have focused on. By the end of the movie, I was thinking "I thought he was supposed to have bad hair?".

The supporting cast was also well great. And that really helps make a movie enjoyable doesn't it? Sure you want the stars to be spot-on, perfect, the right person for the role. But if the minor characters filling the space around them aren't believable, it doesn't seem quite right. Kelly MacDonald as Brolin's confused wife was wonderful to watch. I was delighted to see Garrett Dillahunt (the 4400, Deadwood) as the often confused deputy. Stephen Root as the guy who hires Carson to track down Chigurh was a nice surprise and I didn't recognize Barry Corbin at all (I had to check out to figure out who he thought it was Ben Johnson). Even Beth Grant, who's only in the movie for a few moments, as Carla Jean's mother gave me a chuckle. Truthfully they were all well cast...with the exception of Woody Harrelson as the man hired to hunt down the psychotic killer. I don't like Woody but was willing to give it a shot considering how perfect the rest of the cast seemed to be. And think back to movies like Fargo...another Coen movie with an almost perfect cast (come on....Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand, William H. Macy AND Peter Stormare?). They couldn't make a mistake, right? Sadly, I think they did. The few scenes Harrelson's character was in made me want to get up and grab a snack which is a terrible shame. Especially because the scene where he and Bardem meet up again in the hotel could have been so much more tense. It came off as ... fluffy. Disappointing but I suppose we're all allowed to make a mistake now and then, right?

As usual for the Coen's, the film is filled with great scenes. My favourites have to include the hotel scene where Chigurh performs some pretty graphic medical procedures on himself (and this is not, necessarily, because he's naked during the scene). Ugh. When he pulls off his boot which is filled with blood and it pours out onto the plastic....gruesome but awesome. And his face never changes. Loved it. And who can forget the opening scene in the jail where he kills the deputy. The near orgasmic pleasure Bardem's character seems to be getting from strangling him is fantastic to watch (in a sick demented sort of way I suppose...HEY! Don't judge me!)

I'm not a huge fan of the Coen Brothers. Truthfully probably one of the only movies of theirs which I've actually enjoyed was Fargo. This one though, I can see myself watching again. The ending was, at first, quite odd and I was a bit disappointed but after thinking about it for a little while, it seemed perfect. Ending with Jones' character's dream about his long dead father waiting for him...powerful.

Captain recommended.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Very solid review. I agree that it was a good, but spotty, film. That said, I do think that Javier Bardem portrayed one of the more memorable characters in film.

Gardenia said...

Javier was just chilling in this - the end left me dazed and shocked - I wanted resolution!!!!

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