Saturday, January 05, 2008

Notes on "No Country for Old Men"

I'm sure that everyone has heard by now that No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece. So here are a few additional thoughts, having just seen it tonight:

1. The movie is set in 1980, and I swear to God that it sounds like 1980. I don't know how they got that right and I've never raved about sound design before. The Coens must have been paying attention to how the world sounded back in the 1980s.

2. The movie was so good that I had planned to rent another movie tonight, but decided not to because I'd likely get pissed off at the next film for not being as good.

3. I've only read two Cormac McCarthy books: Blood Meridian and The Road. I could still tell that this movie got his tone exactly right.

4. Javier Bardem gives the best performance as a psychopath since Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. He's like an alien trying to make sense out of the behavior of human beings. The performance steals the film.

5. Seriously, Hollywood- stop putting out all of the good movies in the same month! You could have adults going to the cinema all year long. Instead, you schedule 11 months of the CGI kiddie matinee crap and one month of movies for adults. Now we have to scramble and take out a loan in order to see No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, There Will Be Blood, Juno, Atonement, and God knows what else before they're gone.

6. Admittedly though, I hung around in the lobby afterwards and listened to the other audience members expressing serious confusion about what they had just seen. And it was not a particularly confusing movie. So, maybe the audience is dumbing down Hollywood and not vice-versa. So far, Alvin and the Shit-eating soulless Chipmunks has made between three and four times as much money as this pitch perfect masterpiece.

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