Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bloody and Tense: No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men
Directed by Ethan & Joel Coen
Released November 9, 2007

The Coen Brothers' latest feature is not as altogether stunning as "Fargo", but it certainly deserves a good deal of praise for its execution. The western feel of the film is perfectly accomplished, and all members of the cast fit in so well to their surroundings. I hardly noticed the lack of scoring for the film and it did not distract from my enjoyment of the film, though my friends felt it did detract from their experience. The film starts off fairly slow but hardly lets the viewer off the hook, keeping a feeling of uncertain suspense throughout. Javier Bardem is excellent as a psychotic but calculating killer, and he will have no trouble earning an Oscar nomination for this performance. When I reviewed Goya's Ghosts earlier this year, I said that Bardem was much better off in his native language, but this is proof that "Goya's Ghosts" was merely a fluke (take my word for it, do not try to see it for yourself). Tommy Lee Jones delivers another fine performance, but it pales in comparison to his work in "In the Valley of Elah". Josh Brolin, who I usually find obnoxious, fits in well with the scenery even if he does little. Both Kelly Macdonald and Woody Harrelson have extremely limited screen time but make an impact with their appearances. This film, like many of the Coen Brothers' previous efforts, is quite violent but well worth it.


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