No Country for Old Men review
Today I am finishing up my week’s look into the catalog of Coen brothers’ films with my personal favorite, No Country for Old Men. I know that it is likely every film lover on the planet has seen this movie, but if you are one of the few who hasn’t you need to see it as soon as possible. The story follows a man who stumbles into trouble with unsavory people (as is typical in Coen films), a serial killer/hitman (who seems less like a man and more like an unstoppable force) who is on the trail of the man, and an old lawman who is hot on the trail of the killer. Like many Coen brothers films, NCfOM does have small moments of comedy, but because of the situation and acting of Javier Bardem they come off less as “haha” funny and more of an uncomfortable funny.
I am an amateur filmmaker and blogger, there is no way that I could possibly quantify or comprehend the amount of skill and technical knowledge it took to create this movie, but I can tell you that the cinematography is stunning. The use of color, positive and negative space, depth, and framing in most shots make for what is less of a “movie” and more of a moving painting. The one thing that I do have to say (which is also something I feel about a lot of Wes Anderson movies as well) is the images on screen are too perfect a lot of the time and make the viewer very aware that they are watching a film. As I said, I cannot even understand the techniques used to make the film, but I can tell you that it just looks and feels different than any other movie I’ve seen. I think the fact that watching No Country and feeling like I am viewing and experiencing something new is what made it really cement its place as my favorite Coen brothers film (not necessarily because I like drama more than comedy, without a doubt Raising Arizona is my second favorite). This is the kind of film that makes me want to work hard, learn more, and become a great filmmaker, I think there is no higher complement than finishing a movie and immediately thinking “Wow, I need to be better.”
There are a lot of people who say that the ending in not satisfying, but I think that if you do not like how the story ends you are either looking at the film becoming incredibly unrealistic, or you missed the feeling it was meant to create. For the film to actually “conclude” in a realistic way, the lawman would have died and the killer gets away without any trouble, not an ending that would satisfy those who demand closure anyways. Also, I like that Anton acts as fate and the world personified. He will continue to push forward and accomplish any task he feels he needs to no matter what gets in his way. He feels no remorse and no guilt. I feel that if you allow Anton to give in once, or become human and develop a conscience, you have destroyed the meaning behind the character in the first place.
Anyways, this is a beautiful film and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves movies. Continuing in my look at directors and their films, I will be spending the next week watching and writing about several films by David Fincher. Hope you will join me!