Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Call It, Friendo

If you like the Coen Brothers, you're going to like "No Country for Old Men." If you sat through "Intolerable Cruelty" and "The Ladykillers" and wondered whether the boys would find their groove again, you're going to love it.

I haven't read the Cormac McCarthy novel from which the movie has been adapted, but I've heard that the Coens stuck pretty close to it, reportedly lifting big chunks of dialogue out of the book. It's basically a gussied-up "find the stolen money and wind up in hell" thriller, but it works mighty fine on the screen. Some people have problems with the book, but that's a different issue.

I don't think there's a bad performance in this film. Josh Brolin exhibits the right degree of close-mouthed working class fatalism, and Glaswegian actress Kelly Macdonald transforms herself into a young Texas housewife who's smarter than she first appears. Tommy Lee Jones keeps the folksiness to manageable portions. Tess Harper, Barry Corbin and Stephen Root lend their usual stalwart support. Even Woody Harrelson is fine.

The stand-out, though, is Javier Bardem as the utterly calm, terrifyingly implacable killer, Anton Chigurh. Watch the scene between him and Gene Jones, as Chigurh engages a gas station owner in an existential game of Heads-or-Tails. It's brilliantly shot, edited, acted and sound directed.

Best movie I've seen this year.


Courtney - Web Writing Info.com said...

Thank God! I am a huge Coen brothers fan and was very disappointed by Intolerable Cruelty. I'm glad to see that Josh Brolin is coming into his own (again). He was a casualty on the Brat Pack, and it looks like his career may be back on track.

SHECKYmagazine.com said...

Golly! I thought Intolerable Cruelty was one of the funniest, wittiest movies I ever saw. Just hadda stick up for it.

Brian McKim
Editor, Publisher