typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

film review: No Country for Old Men

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Although they may need to apologize for their Intolerable Cruelty, the Coen Brothers really don’t have anything left to prove to anybody. One of the most successful writer/director teams in the history of film, their latest film, No Country for Old Men manages to break the few rules they had perhaps missed along the way.

Just like O Brother, Where Art Thou, Fargo, and Raising Arizona, sinister humour meets perfect casting with great results. Tommy Lee Jones gives a superb performance which proves key to the ultimate impact of the film, but perhaps the biggest surprise is Spanish film star Javier Bardem.

Coming from a background of soft porn and gayploitation flicks, similar to Antonio Banderas, Bardem utterly dominates as the soft-spoken, brutally moral assassin pursuing a suitcase of money and a truckload of drugs across the harsh American Midwest.

And that’s more plot than needs to be known. The essence of Coen films seems to be a questioning of the very stuff of life. Is morality a fiction, or just a story usually told badly? What happens when we break ‘the rules’? Why don’t we break them more often? Has God left us completely to our own devices?

There is the trademark convergence of coincidence and retribution, usually fuelled by a simple accident. But there is also the deliciously dark and jarring humour which many attempt and few achieve, perhaps none to the level of accomplishment seen in No Country for Old Men.

Quite simply, the film is deservedly being hailed as a modern American masterpiece. While all movies are best seen without expectation, any that you may hold shall be shaken up in the most welcome way by this 2-hour slap-in-the-face. Utterly recommended.

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Written by typingisnotactivism

January 13, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Posted in art, awesomeness, review

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