Tuesday, 11 May 2010

No Country for Old Men

“Whatcha got ain’t nothin new. This country’s hard on people, you can’t stop what’s coming, it ain’t all waiting on you. That’s vanity.”

No Country for Old Men (2007) Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen

I watched this movie again, twice (it had been a while). It really isn’t the box of tricks I’d remembered it being, not once I knew what was coming.

Moss isn’t the lead, he just occupies most of the screen time. Bell is the lead, only he spends most of the movie ducking out of harms way. Bell’s opening monologue sets it all up; Moss chooses to do what Bell won’t, which is to take a step into evil (‘A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He’d have to say, “O.K., I’ll be part of this world”’).

So many people seem to think the terrifying Chigurh character is supposed to be supernatural, but surely the rather calamitous (and completely random) accident toward the end prove his fallible, flesh-and-blood credentials?  His last potential victim refuses to play his coin-toss game, forcing him to decide their fate; once stripped of his harbinger role, he seems to be a victim of chance as much as anyone else.

Roger Deakins is again in charge of the lens (as with most Coen films) - his foreign eye (he’s a Brit) seems to capture America in a unique way, evoking movies like the old John Ford westerns, but adding something else to the mix.

Did I say I liked it?

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