Saturday, December 15, 2007

No country for old men - a review


Plot Giveaway warning!

I just walked back through the door of my house and kicked my son off the laptop to write this post.

All I can say is. Wow.

The Coen Brothers ( Fargo, Blood Simple) are either geniuses or insane and like the frozen blooded killer Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh) in the film likes to say, 'call it'.

I loved it, no wait a minute, I flippin' hated it!
No, I loved it.

Arrrg.

The movie is so well framed, shot and edited, it seems to flow like a mudslide, washing aside anything in it's way. The only parts that seem to give you time to breathe are the scenes with Tommy Lee Jones. (Sheriff Ed Tom Bell) Jones plays the old sheriff, who looks like he's seen it all, done it all and is now faced with something even he cannot seem to wrap his mind around.

The main character (Llewellyn Moss) is played by Josh Brolin and he plays that role like a pair of worn in Larry Mahan cowboy boots. He is completely comfortable in the role.
I loved the first one hour and fifty minutes of the film, but the last ten made me shake my head.

It's not too late, hit the back button on your browser if you are going to see the film, because here comes the end.






Still here?






Are you sure?




Ok.



There is no flippin' end.
And maybe that is the point. The guy you are rooting for gets killed, although you don't get to see him killed so there is, in the back of your mind, a foreshadowing of a plot twist that maybe the Sheriff works out a way to fake his death to throw the killer off the trail, but no, he is really dead and after a while the killer comes back for his wife on the day of her mother's funeral. Nice touch.

Driving away from the wife's house the killer inexplicably gets hit broadside by a 77' LTD station wagon and has a lovely compound fracture of his arm. He buys a shirt off a nearby kid, wraps his arm in a sling and tell the kid to say he never saw him. That is the last time you see the villain in the film.

The last scene is a now retired Tommy Lee Jones sitting in a house talking about a dream he had about his father.

Roll credits.

As the lady in front of me said, 'You have got to be F-ing kidding me'.

But just like in Fargo when you want the guy who was stuffing his buddy into the wood chipper to explain why he did it to Francis McDermott, he doesn't.

I think the ending is torturous and also clever.

Life isn't pretty at times, the good guy doesn't always win, sometimes the bad guys just walks away and you never know where he goes, and the guy who you think should be able to figure this out and make it stop is just an old guy who has seen too much and can't take it any longer.

I almost forget, as a bonus, Woddy Harellson get the crap blown out of him by the killer with a shotgun at a range of three feet, so the movie has that going for it.

2 comments:

ukulele said...

Any idea who makes the truly fine hats worn by Josh Brolin and (especially) Tommy Lee Jones+Garret Dillahunt? In Australia, we have felt Akubra cattle-man hats that are similar, but these looked like a white straw variety of Stetson, not unlike a panama in texture.

Oh, have to agree: It is, indeed, a beguiling film. It's been a while since a Coen Bro's flick generated so much debate with my pals.

Yolo Cowboy said...

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the straw hats are either made by Resistol brand or possibly a Baily.

Both make fine cowboy hats, I have three Resistol hats, one straw and two felt, and one Stetson.

For my money its hard to go wrong with a Resistol. My favorite one is my father's hat that has to be 30 years old. Its a silver belly Cattleman 7X felt. It still looks great and hold its shape well after all these years.