Monday, November 19, 2007

Movie Review: "No Country for Old Men"

DUDE. I don't think I blogged about the movie Once. I think I was going to write a review and something sparkly came along and distracted me. You'll have that. But anyway, up until last night, I had considered Once to be the best movie I'd seen all year. Yeah, consider THAT one knocked down to the #2 slot. 'Cause...DAMN. No Country for Old Men kicks ASS.

So, the Coen brothers wrote/directed this one, I can never remember which brother does what and I don't care that much. The Coen brothers rock. It's a brilliant adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel. (The same guy who wrote The Road, which was on Oprah's book list but you should read anyway, even if you are a guy. My mom hated it, but I loved it to pieces, though it took me about a month to read it because I was AFRAID to see what would happen next. Yeah, it's like that.) ANYWAY. The film concerns one Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, who stumbles onto a bunch of trucks and bullets and dead bodies while out hunting one day. Of course, he finds a suitcase full of money and OF COURSE, he takes it. Dude. When are people going to learn to leave the fucking suitcase full of money where it is? It's never worth the trouble! No, REALLY. So then, our boy Llewelyn has the local sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) and a bunch of nasty badasses who want their money back, on his tail. The nastiest of these badasses is Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem.

I don't really want to say more about the plot, because I don't want to ruin anything and it. Is. Awesome.

The performances here are PHENOMENAL. I'm sure I've never seen Josh Brolin give a better performance, even in The Goonies. And that man can wear a flannel shirt and cowboy hat, for real. I also think that this is the performance of Tommy Lee Jones' career. I really think he'll get another Academy Award nomination AND win out of this one. And if he doesn't, we'll just have to chalk it up to one more time the Academy was TOTALLY clueless. I always forget what a good, subtle actor Jones is because, let's face it, the man makes some BAD movies. He's BRILLIANT here. Seriously. When you see this movie, just watch his face. It's probably a performance that would be just as moving with the sound turned off. His face tells a thousand stories without him ever opening his mouth. And Javier Bardem? DAMN. I think Anton Chigurh is probably one of the scariest bad guys I've ever seen. Bardem's performance is very physical, very cold, COMPLETELY PSYCHO and yet, Chigurh is not a detached character. My mom and I had a discussion of whether or not he's a sociopath. I still don't know. He seriously doesn't do a single nice thing during the entire movie. He doesn't smile at a baby, pet a kitten or help an old lady cross the street. He just literally, kills anyone who is in his way. He's truly terrifying. And has one of the worst haircuts I've ever seen. No, worse than Flock of Seagulls-worst. I keep trying to tell every that Javier Bardem is really hot, but no one believes me, based on that hair and scariness. But, he looks like a Spanish Jeffrey Dean Morgan! No, really, it's freaky how alike they look: Javier and Jeffrey. See? They could play hot brothers! Someone, write that script! Also, this movie is like, Character Actors R Us. I love that. Woody Harrelson and Kelly MacDonald (from Trainspotting!) pop up in support roles. All are brilliant.

No Country for Old Men is a really gripping, entertaining, almost lyrical film. It reminded me a bit of John Sayles' Lone Star, another GREAT Western/mystery. It has just a touch of the Coen brothers' sort of goofy quirk and trust me. It's welcome, especially after some of the ridiculously suspenseful scenes. At one point, during a tense sequence in a motel room involving a ringing telephone and some footsteps, I was leaning forward, with my hands over my mouth, afraid to blink. Didn't help. I still leapt out of my seat and yelped. This happened several times. Also, it's pretty violent, so if that's not your thing, be prepared. I've seen worse, really and it's not stylized violence, like in a comic adaptation. It's more realistic violence like in a Cronenberg film. You know? Guess what? If someone gets shot with a's apparently pretty messy. Go figure. So, keep that in mind. Otherwise, go see it NOW.

I'm so reading this book AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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