Saturday, June 27, 2009

No Country for Old Men

I finally sat down to watch No Country for Old Men last night and after a day of reflection, have to say I quite enjoyed it, in spite of and because of the bitter-dark tones.

I got amused at the setting of 1980 because until well into the film, when Chighur is telling the shop owner to call it, I didn't notice. That small Texas town, the plains, the mobile home decor, doesn't change much with time.

The play with reflection, and wounded animals in particular were very well done. When Chigurh limps away with the bone sticking out of his arm, humbled in some ways by the same way the coin gets here, the echoes of the dying dog that leads Llewelyn into his doom at the opening make a nicely completed circle.

Tommy Lee Jones as the old man sensible enough to know how lost he is against this modern darkness is wonderful. "Age will flatten a man." And the blinding flatness of sundrenched west Texas played so well against the black as night scenes.

But my very favorite scene is the between Ed (Tommy Lee) and his brother Ellis (Barry Corbin, whom I love). Ed bemoans the future, his inability to find a place in it, and Ellis says, as matterafactly as you please, "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." Beautifully written script, Coens. I will watch this one many times over.


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