No Country For Old Men Film Review

23:54 Fri 30 Nov 2007. Updated: 09:46 03 Dec 2007
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I went to see this tonight (yes, when I should have been editing). It was excellent, and while I can’t claim that it had a definitive Coen Brothers mark (because I haven’t yet worked out what that is), it definitely stood out as “different” somehow.

The narrative structure seems normal at first, but takes a strange turn about two-thirds through. I don’t want to give any spoilers here, so I won’t say why, but it’s a non-mainstream twist. It’s not some crazy David–Lynch-style shfit a la Mulholland Drive or anything, just a change in focus that I certainly didn’t see coming earlier in the movie.

The acting is excellent, and the characters all seem strong and interesting, with the possible exception of the younger protagonist’s wife, Carla Jean, who doesn’t get that much to work with, and her mother Agnes, who is stereotypically played as a comic-relief shrew.

Though the plot revolves around the aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong and the search for drug money, the main theme seems to be mortality and its inevitability. The character of Anton Chigurh is something of an exception here, in a sort of Grim Reaper role, although it’s clear that he too is vulnerable. His character is fairly well done, at times skirting the edge of stereotype. He certainly manages to be extremely creepy, and while watching the film I found myself looking forward to his demise.

I enjoyed it, think it provides food for thought, and recommend it. I’d already intended to read the book, and seeing the movie reinforces that.

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