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Sunday, March 30, 2008

No Country For Old Men

Whew. Yes, as you've heard, this movie is well acted. Beautifully filmed. Well written. There are profound truths lurking behind all the blood and despair. But don't watch if you are squeamish about violence or require even the remotest sense that hope exists among the troubles of our times.

Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name, No Country of Old Men, winner of the Oscar for Best Picture (and a number of other Oscars) is the story of a drug deal gone bad. A formerly honorable welder and Vietnam vet comes across the results, including a couple of million dollars. Unable to resist, he takes the money and so moves himself into the path of Chigurh, a psychopathic murderer who sets out to obliterate anyone between him and the money...or anyone who looks at him...or anyone he encounters. Yes, he is the most relentless killer since the Terminator. But then, I didn't like anyone in this film. From the poor sap who took the money to the clerk at the motel. OK, there are a couple of innocent victims I could feel bad for, but they have a total of 21 seconds screen time.

Tommie Lee Jones plays a sheriff who believes that the evils of the world have gotten so awful, he's become obsolete. He's supposed to be the warm sympathetic voice of reason. But I got tired of homespun philosophy and his lack of urgency. OK, fella, get off your duff and call someone who will at least try to do something. I know law enforcement folk must get burned out and feel that they're not making progress. Just like anyone who sets themselves between the rest of us and the bad things that go on. I'm ok with realism, but I don't like places where there's no hope of things getting better. It may be true, but it's just not where I want to go for entertainment.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good review. I just got back from seeing this movie and would have to say I agree with most of your points.

Definately stay away if violence bothers you!

delagar said...

This is why I don't like Cormac McCarthy, even if his writing is, at times, beautiful: he's mistaken his ability to describe horrific violence for the ability to recognize truth. Those aren't, in fact, the same things.