Well, I promised a review of the new film by the Coen Brothers, and a review you shall get. Here is it, folks, No Country For Old Men is one of the best films of the year.
What’s really interesting about it is that it doesn’t have a lot of the typical Coen weirdness. If you’ve ever seen one of their films, then you know what I’m talking about. There’s usually one scene (at the very least) in the film that makes you wonder what in the world you’re watching. In Fargo, for instance, it’d have to be the woodchipper scene, among others. With Intolerable Cruelty, it’d have to be the courtroom scene. (which, by the way, is so zany that I think it achieves a form of brilliance. Ah, I digress . . . ) This is what makes No Country For Old Men so unique. There really aren’t any scenes that belong in that category. It’s almost as though Joel and Ethan decided to focus exclusively on the storytelling, without embellishing it with their usual antics. As such, the direction is not particularly flashy in the way it goes about telling the story, but you never for a moment doubt that they know exactly where they’re going. The writing is great, and, from what I understand, is a faithful rendering of the novel. The acting is uniformly strong, with Javier Bardem deserving extra notice for his work as Anton Chigurh. I have to mention that No Country For Old Men is not really a film that lets you figure out how it's going to end. I thought that I had a decent idea, but there came a certain point at which I realized that all bets were off as far as the "ending prediction business" went.
I think that the film will garner multiple Academy Award nominations. If I had to guess, I could see the film being nominated in the following categories: Best Picture, Best Director (although I don’t know if they would nominate two people for the same award), Best Actor (Josh Brolin), Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem, and maybe Tommy Lee Jones), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing. Personally, I’ll probably be rooting for it come Oscar night, unless some other film comes along and knocks me sideways. Here’s hoping that Joel and Ethan finally win that little gold guy that a lot of people felt they should have gotten for Fargo . . .