Friday, November 23, 2007

No Country For Old Turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

The Following contains SPOILERS! Beware and read at your own Peril!

I want to impart some thoughts on what could quite possibly be the best movie of this year...

No Country For Old Men
by The Coen Bros. by way of author Cormac McCarthy.

I have seen this movie twice now and I know that I will see it at least one more time in theaters before I buy the DVD. This is a great movie ending and all. Is it the best Coen Bro. film? No. Being that it is a faithful adaptation with scenes and dialog lifted verbatim how can it be their best? It does rank right up there though. That said... my take on the ending is this...
Almost perfect. Almost in the sense that you never really quite understand who Anton works for. Perfect because the ending is like life... it happens. Like the ending of The Sopranos... it's life... it goes on.

There need not be a final battle between Moss and Anton... the way Moss dies is perfect... he was ready for Anton... mentally prepared for it... yet he dies by what he didn't see coming just as the Pool side lady points out. That's life... coming at you on it's own terms.

Funny thing about this movie and book... it is in no way about Moss, Anton and the missing money. It's about Ed Tom Bell. While he is just a character circling around the peripheral as law enforcement usually does since their job is more reactionary than anything... the story is about Ed Tom knowing his time has come to step down. He no longer has the stones for what ever evil is coming down the pike... He's given his whole life to this way... he admires those who came before him wearing the badge... but he comes to the conclusion with everything that has stirred up that this is no country for old men.

I can just see what the Coens were getting after and trust me this movie is a whole lot easier to swallow than reading the book. That is not to say the book is bad... But Corman McCarthy has a very unique way of writing I have never come across before. It makes for an interesting albeit tough read. That said... I have to admit... Cormac gets under your skin and his 'ear' is dead on.

One last note: I picked up on Brolin's performance from the get-go... it was pitch-perfect... like when he finds the money. Just some sighs and grunts and body english but he conveys volumes. When the movie opens and you see him track the blood to the killing site... He even asks questions of the wounded Mexican he already knows the answers too...

I hope Josh Brolin receives a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination. I would hope one for Tommy Lee Jones as well... But he gave as good in In the Valley of Elah and Three Burials. But Josh is a revelation. Sure he's great in American Gangster and fun in Planet Terror but he owns in this movie.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Got to see this film about a month before it opened and I totally agree with you. Never thought much about Brolin one way or the other, but could not take your eyes off the performance.

With regard to the ending, I did not have a problem with it at all and was kind of surprised when some of the Q&A got a little hostile in that direction. I thought Brolin gave a great answer about it and it mostly mirrors your thoughts here.

See the full Q&A from the Alamo Drafthouse here: