Thursday, November 22, 2007

No Country For Old Men

This amazing crime drama joins the ranks of Joel and Ethan Coen's best work. The film works on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. A story of greed and violence with no easy answers, the film is a marvel from start to finish.

Javier Bardem plays one of the all time great screen villains. You have simply never seen anything like Anton Chigurh. He is The Terminator in flesh and blood. Josh Brolin (getting better in every film) plays Llewelyn Moss, a simple man who discovers a satchel of cash and sets in motion a series of terrible events. Tommy Lee Jones is absolutely perfect as sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a man weary of the modern world, still trying to do the right thing. Kelly MacDonald plays Moss's wife, Carla Jean who is smarter than she looks. And rounding out the principal cast is Woody Harrelson as Carson Wells, a wild card in this deck of violent cat and mouse.

The cinematography of Roger Deakins is breathtaking. The color palate of the Texas plains to the stark and seedy small town motels is remarkable. The sparse dialog rolls off the actor's tongues like poetry. Tommy Lee Jones, in particular, has so much quotable dialog, I need to see it again and take notes. Working from the novel by Cormac McCarthy, the Coen Brothers wrote the screenplay and capture the detail and soul of the novel, while bringing the violence to the forefront. Be warned, there is no shortage of blood in a Coen Brothers film.

Without a doubt, one of this year's best films. And by the way, if you have been paying attention, all the questions at the end will have been answered.

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