I will admit right off the bat that I am not a Coen Brothers fan. This and my dislike for Stanley Kubrick put me in the minority among cinemaphiles. I have come to terms with this and I will defend my opinion against the best of them.
I have not always disliked the Coen Brothers. As a kid, I loved Raising Arizona. This was one of the first “adult” films I truly appreciated. However, I have not enjoyed a Coen Brothers film since with the exception of a few, like Fargo which I enjoyed on a superficial level but not with the devotion that most give these brothers.
Anyway, that may all have to change with the release of No Country For Old Men a brilliant and thrilling little crime movie which is totally satisfying. The Coen Brothers have made the first film in a long time that has left me with chills and totally overwhelmed me while I watched it in the theatre. What a pleasure!
However, I may argue that it little do with them. Cormack McCarthy has written a cinematic novel that the boys have chosen to follow almost step by step. I read the book recently and the film follows his direction almost exactly. Even the dialoge is ripped from the pages. In some ways you could say that it was McCarthy who directed this film… as much as Frank Miller directed Sin City.
Also much of the film’s greatness comes from Javiar Bardem’s masterful performance, creating one of the screen’s best and most memorable villains. Here’s hoping we get to revisit this psychopath again soon.
Sure it was the Coens who chose to loose the score and let the background sounds of the film echo in our minds. And it was the Coens who lined up the shots that so hauntingly and perfectly capture each moment. I may have to give the boys a bit of credit here, even if it does punch wholes in my theory that they are overrated. Maybe they just get lucky every now and then and get it right.
With No Country For Old Men they totally get lucky and so does the audience. For adults with a discerning eye for well made thrillers, No Country For Old Men is the best ticket of the year.