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No Country for Old Men is coming


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I'm delighted to see that TCM is airing the great Coen brothers movie No Country for Old Men Wednesday night as part of this month's Southern Writers theme.

 

It's not for the faint of heart, but it is an unforgettable film. If you haven't seen it, set your DVRs or write on your calendars or whatever you do to make a point of watching a movie aired on TCM, this is one of the best movies made since the turn of this century.

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I agree, MissW. No Country For Old Men is a strong, gripping, at times, highly suspenseful drama, with perfect casting of all the lead roles. Javier Bardem, in particular, is unforgettable, as memorably frightening a screen presence as I have seen.

 

My only quibble with the film, perhaps, would be in regard to its final ten minutes, ending on a contemplative note which i find a bit of a disraction from the great drama that had preceded it.

 

But that still doesn't stop me from calling it a terrific film though those who dislike screen violence may be uncomfortable with sections of it. None of the vilolence, however, is gratuitous.

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I thought I was already LIVING there.

 

But in all seriousnss, I have it on DVD, so I can pass, if I wanted, on TCM's presentation.

 

But I can hardly disagree with you MissW, about the excellence of this film.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I agree, MissW. No Country For Old Men is a strong, gripping, at times, highly suspenseful drama, with perfect casting of all the lead roles. Javier Bardem, in particular, is unforgettable, as memorably frightening a screen presence as I have seen.

 

My only quibble with the film, perhaps, would be in regard to its final ten minutes, ending on a contemplative note which i find a bit of a disraction from the great drama that had preceded it.

 

But that still doesn't stop me from calling it a terrific film though those who dislike screen violence may be uncomfortable with sections of it. None of the vilolence, however, is gratuitous.

 

Interesting. I love that final scene --SPOILER --the strange, almost philosophical conversation between the Angel of Death character (as I like to call him) and the innocent, wise young woman trying to reason with him.

 

If it has a flaw, I'd say it was in the scene (or two, can't quite remember, but it was near the end of the film) that precedes those last ten minutes. Many critics were not happy  --SPOILER-- with what happens to Josh Brolin's character. And how it happens.

 

This is one of those movies that I never have to rack my brains to remember whether I even saw it or not. It's my idea of great cinema: story, characters, dialogue, cinematography, acting, all of it superlative.

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Interesting. I love that final scene --SPOILER --the strange, almost philosophical conversation between the Angel of Death character (as I like to call him) and the innocent, wise young woman trying to reason with him.

 

If it has a flaw, I'd say it was in the scene (or two, can't quite remember, but it was near the end of the film) that precedes those last ten minutes. Many critics were not happy  --SPOILER-- with what happens to Josh Brolin's character. And how it happens.

 

This is one of those movies that I never have to rack my brains to remember whether I even saw it or not. It's my idea of great cinema: story, characters, dialogue, cinematography, acting, all of it superlative.

MissW, it's been a little while since I last saw the film but that conversation between, as you call him, the Angel of Death and the young woman is NOT what I'm taking about. That is a wonderful scene.

 

It's the scene, reflecting the film's title, I suppose you could say, that, I believe, comes after that scene that, to me, stopped the film's great drive. To me, the film's final minutes just drift towards the end. The confusion for some regarding want happens to Brolin I fully understand because I was, initially, a little confused by it myself.

 

By the way, if I've become confused myself as to whether that aforementioned Angel of Death scene is the final scene in the film, or it's the scene of contemplation involving Tommy Lee Jones in discussion, I apologize. Again, I haven't seen the film in a little while now. It's the inclusion of the Tommy Lee Jones scene as either the last scene (or next to last scene, whenever it occurs) that I am questioning.

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I feel like we should maybe wait to discuss the ending further until after it's been aired on Wednesday night (not that I have a problem with your discussing the ending...)

 

But yeah, come to think of it, you're right, I believe the final scene is Tommy Lee Jones musing to his wife on the vicissitudes of life. But I like that, I think it's a very effective way to close the film. I suspect it's how Cormac McCarthy concluded his novel, although having not read it, I don't really know. (Anyone read the novel?)

 

Anyway, I love Tommy Lee Jones, and he is perfect for this role. He always has sad eyes.

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I feel like we should maybe wait to discuss the ending further until after it's been aired on Wednesday night (not that I have a problem with your discussing the ending...)

 

But yeah, come to think of it, you're right, I believe the final scene is Tommy Lee Jones musing to his wife on the vicissitudes of life. But I like that, I think it's a very effective way to close the film. I suspect it's how Cormac McCarthy concluded his novel, although having not read it, I don't really know. (Anyone read the novel?)

 

Anyway, I love Tommy Lee Jones, and he is perfect for this role. He always has sad eyes.

 

 

I've always liked Tommy Lee as well.  Lonesome Dove is a personal Western Favorite of mine .. Tommy and Duval and the rest were so good in it.  

 

I haven't seen this movie since when it came out so I may watch it again when it airs if I can remember.

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I feel like we should maybe wait to discuss the ending further until after it's been aired on Wednesday night (not that I have a problem with your discussing the ending...)

 

But yeah, come to think of it, you're right, I believe the final scene is Tommy Lee Jones musing to his wife on the vicissitudes of life. But I like that, I think it's a very effective way to close the film. I suspect it's how Cormac McCarthy concluded his novel, although having not read it, I don't really know. (Anyone read the novel?)

 

Anyway, I love Tommy Lee Jones, and he is perfect for this role. He always has sad eyes.

My problem with the scene is because it goes on as long as it does (at least ten minutes, I believe, or close to it) and threatened to bring the film to a grinding halt, at least, for me. It's not because of the performances of the actors involved or the validity of the ruminations expressed.

 

Perhaps, though, this is classic nit picking on my part, since it comes at the end of such a rewarding motion picture experience.

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My problem with the scene is because it goes on as long as it does (at least ten minutes, I believe, or close to it) and threatened to bring the film to a grinding halt, at least, for me. It's not because of the performances of the actors involved or the validity of the ruminations expressed.

 

Perhaps, though, this is classic nit picking on my part, since it comes at the end of such a rewarding motion picture experience.

 

Kind of like Night of the Hunter, eh?

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Kind of like Night of the Hunter, eh?

No, not really. Night of the Hunter has a significant flaw, in my opinon, with its choice of ending. This small scene in No Country for Old Men, though, is a minor issue.

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I feel the ambiguity regarding the fate of the Josh Brolin character was central to the theme of the film, as is the scene immediately following the final exchange between Bardem and Kelly MacDonald. Not to get too spoilery, but I felt it was addressing the inescapable chaos of life and death, "best laid plans" and all that. There's much more to it, of course, including the brilliant final speech by Tommy Lee Jones that speaks to the unknowable horrors of the world.

 

One of my absolute favorites of the decade.

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I feel the ambiguity regarding the fate of the Josh Brolin character was central to the theme of the film, as is the scene immediately following the final exchange between Bardem and Kelly MacDonald. Not to get too spoilery, but I felt it was addressing the inescapable chaos of life and death, "best laid plans" and all that. There's much more to it, of course, including the brilliant final speech by Tommy Lee Jones that speaks to the unknowable horrors of the world.

 

One of my absolute favorites of the decade.

Agree its a must see Neo-Noir, it's got the classic obsessed individuals both alienated from society with events going seriously out of control.

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I didn't care for it. I believe I was on auto pilot and just didn't pay attention. I'll record it on TCM and try again. I may not have been in the mood, that happens. I remember being vaguely wary of all the violence and the ending was like falling off a cliff.

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I didn't care for it. I believe I was on auto pilot and just didn't pay attention. I'll record it on TCM and try again. I may not have been in the mood, that happens. I remember being vaguely wary of all the violence and the ending was like falling off a cliff.

Yes, I remember the film being very divisive when it was released. The way things were resolved (or not) was a real deal breaker for a lot of people.

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I didn't care for it. I believe I was on auto pilot and just didn't pay attention. I'll record it on TCM and try again. I may not have been in the mood, that happens. I remember being vaguely wary of all the violence and the ending was like falling off a cliff.

 

No denying, there's violence in it. But as someone else said here earlier (sorry, offhand I forget who), the violence is not gratuitous. Also, I don't think there's actually as much violence as many think; it's more an impression of violence in some of the scenes. Kind of like the shower scene in Psycho, in which we think we've seen a lot more stabbing and blood and, well, violence, than we actually have.

Around the same time that No Country for Old Men came out, another film was released, which many feel was better than NCFOM. This was There Will Be Blood. Now, to me, there was a lot more violence in that, or at least, I found the violence in it much harder to watch. Especially the final scene. Horrible.

Of the two films, I love No Country for Old Men, and I hate There Will Be Blood, even though the latter was acclaimed at least as much as the former.

But, despite all the strange, unnerving, frightening, and pessimistic (not to mention violent ! ) things we see in No Country for Old Men, I actually come away from it feeling kind of exhilerated. But the one and only time I saw There Will Be Blood, I came away feeling repelled by the film, and depressed.There was not one moment in TWBB that I enjoyed (Oh, except for Paul Dano, whom I like). It was a thoroughly nihilistic experience. Kind of like Wise Blood, come to think of it  (hey, maybe it has something to do with having the word "blood" in the title !)

 

Sorry, I know you didn't even mention There Will Be Blood. But I'd been meaning to bring it up anyway, since both films came out the same time,  both were critically acclaimed, and both were known for their violence and pessimistic outlooks.

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No denying, there's violence in it. But as someone else said here earlier (sorry, offhand I forget who), the violence is not gratuitous. Also, I don't think there's actually as much violence as many think; it's more an impression of violence in some of the scenes. Kind of like the shower scene in Psycho, in which we think we've seen a lot more stabbing and blood and, well, violence, than we actually have.

Around the same time that No Country for Old Men came out, another film was released, which many feel was better than NCFOM. This was There Will Be Blood. Now, to me, there was a lot more violence in that, or at least, I found the violence in it much harder to watch. Especially the final scene. Horrible.

Of the two films, I love No Country for Old Men, and I hate There Will Be Blood, even though the latter was acclaimed at least as much as the former.

But, despite all the strange, unnerving, frightening, and pessimistic (not to mention violent ! ) things we see in No Country for Old Men, I actually come away from it feeling kind of exhilerated. But the one and only time I saw There Will Be Blood, I came away feeling repelled by the film, and depressed.There was not one moment in TWBB that I enjoyed (Oh, except for Paul Dano, whom I like). It was a thoroughly nihilistic experience. Kind of like Wise Blood, come to think of it  (hey, maybe it has something to do with having the word "blood" in the title !)

 

Sorry, I know you didn't even mention There Will Be Blood. But I'd been meaning to bring it up anyway, since both films came out the same time,  both were critically acclaimed, and both were known for their violence and pessimistic outlooks.

At the time of their release, the two films were compared a lot. There was a lot of tribalism regarding which was better. It seemed if you liked one, you were supposed to dislike the other.

I loved both. It reminded me of the FORREST GUMP/PULP FICTION rift of 1994, minus the generational component.

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I hate dumping on a movie that others have great love for, so I'm not gonna say much about 'No Country' here. I'm not saying it's a terrible movie, mind you - just not the accomplished one it's reputed to be (in my opinion). The fact that I got pretty bored trying to watch it the second time was the tip off (and even the first time, when I wasn't bored, it had that groan-worthy scene - among a few - where the cop handcuffed the monster with his hands in front and then sat down with his back to him - sheesh, how stupid do the Coens think we are?)

 

Okay that's enough. Like everyone, the first time I watched it, it was pretty compelling. After that, not so much.

 

I do usually love the Coens' films, though. 'The Man Who Wasn't There' (2001) is a particular favorite with me.

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I hate dumping on a movie that others have great love for, so I'm not gonna say much about 'No Country' here. I'm not saying it's a terrible movie, mind you - just not the accomplished movie it's reputed to be (in my opinion). The fact that I got pretty bored trying to watch it the second time was the tip off (and even the first time, when I wasn't bored, it had that groan-worthy scene - among a few - where the cop handcuffed the monster with his hands in front and then sat down with his back to it - jeesh, how stupid do the Coens think we are?)

 

Okay that's enough. Like everyone, the first time I watched it, it was pretty compelling. After that, not so much.

 

I do usually love the Coen's films, though. 'The Man Who Wasn't There' (2001) is a particular favorite with me.

 

I wished you had dumped more. Sometimes these popular films create a sort of bandwagon effect. Like, not liking it will make all the admires hate you (the general you). I'm not saying it's happening here but it does happen. A reasonable contrary view would be refreshing.

 

TMWWT is my favorite of all.

 

The Coen's don't do for me what they do others, that's for sure.

 

==

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Misswonderly, great encapsulation of one of my favorite movies of the last decade. I too am foggy about the order of the ending.scenes. I will try to watch it on Wednesday, as I cook I guess. It was on some station recently, and as per usual, I watched a part of it after stumbling on it. But I didn't see the last half hour or so; I think I had to go somewhere.

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I hate dumping on a movie that others have great love for, so I'm not gonna say much about 'No Country' here. I'm not saying it's a terrible movie, mind you - just not the accomplished one it's reputed to be (in my opinion). The fact that I got pretty bored trying to watch it the second time was the tip off (and even the first time, when I wasn't bored, it had that groan-worthy scene - among a few - where the cop handcuffed the monster with his hands in front and then sat down with his back to him - sheesh, how stupid do the Coens think we are?)

 

Okay that's enough. Like everyone, the first time I watched it, it was pretty compelling. After that, not so much.

 

I do usually love the Coens' films, though. 'The Man Who Wasn't There' (2001) is a particular favorite with me.

 

Hey, ya gotta say what ya gotta say, whether it's that you like something or dislike it. This is what these here boards are for, db baby. I have no problems with people who disagree with me - as long as you don't say I'm a fool for liking it, or something like that (of course, I maintain that anyone who doesn't like what I like is a fool. Not really, I'm sure you know I'm keeding !)

 

Well, I've seen the film at least twice, I think more. I guess it's not so much for the plot and the suspense, because obviously after you've seen it once, you know what happens. 

I do think NCFOM has a philosophical aspect to it that I really like. And I enjoy all the performances. I dunno, I think there's more to the film than just a well-done suspense/thriller type of thing. 

Unlike There Will Be Blood, a despairing nihilistic horrible story which made me want to stick needles in my eyes rather than ever see it again (as Bogie might say, although probably not about that particular film...)

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I wished you had dumped more. Sometimes these popular films create a sort of bandwagon effect. Like, not liking it will make all the admires hate you (the general you). I'm not saying it's happening here but it does happen. A reasonable contrary view would be refreshing.

 

TMWWT is my favorite of all.

 

The Coen's don't do for me what they do others, that's for sure.

 

==

If you don't like something, you should say so. Obviously, not all movies are going to be liked by all people, even (maybe especially) the most praised. I personally have no love for Billy Wilder's comedies. SOME LIKE IT HOT leaves me completely cold, but it's generally regarded as one of the all-time great comedies. Where as, the Coen brothers have yet to make a bad film imho. They aren't all great (I'm looking at you INTOLERABLE CRUELTY), but I wouldn't call any bad.

 

And as for the handcuff scene in NO COUNTRY, I don't look at it as the writers thinking the audience is dumb, but that the character is dumb. If everyone in a movie behaved as you would behave, how boring would that get? It could even be argued that the sloppy way the police handled Bardem's character feeds into the theme of the film, i.e. that once you become complacent, the unexpected monsters in the world will bite you in the rear.

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Yes, I remember the film being very divisive when it was released. The way things were resolved (or not) was a real deal breaker for a lot of people.

 

The film wasn't "resolved" at all. That is a big problem for me and one reason I don't like new films.

 

So did he kill the girl or smell dog poo on his boot? Did the cops coming to the accident find him and arrest him? Or did the Coens plan for a Part 2 film that they never made? So how did it end? Well, it didn't end at all. It was like in the old days when an old worn out film broke in a theater, 5 minutes from the end and the projectionist couldn't repair it. It was like cutting off the last 5 minute of Gone With the Wind or the last 5 minutes of Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

 

One of those kids told him a bone was sticking out of his arm, so how did he fix it? Didn't that hurt? Wouldn't a hospital ask questions about it. Did he just go through the rest of his life with the bone sticking out?

 

And how did that guy wearing only a hospital gown pay for all his new clothes since he wasn't carrying any money with Him?

 

And how could they have a big shoot-out in a fairly large Texas town at night with nobody on the street or coming out of the bars to took at it, and no cops arriving?

 

How could he kill 2 people with a shotgun in an old hotel without waking up half the guests? Even with the silencer, it still made a lot of noise.

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Not only that, Fred, but there weren't enough young, pretty women in the film. Only one, and even she wasn't wearing enough make-up.

 

Yeah, where were the women? Every time I've been to Texas there have been lots of women of all ages. And kids too.

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Nothing happens in the first 20 seconds. :(

 

I generally like the film, and I've seen it at least 3 times, because it is so unusual with some unusual and interesting stuff in it. But I don't like the unsolved mysteries or vague endings. Generally, the old classics left us with no unsolved mysteries. But this film is like cutting the last 5 minutes off of every famous old classic film.

 

This film suddenly ended in a way that would be exactly like cutting GONE WITH THE WIND right after Scarlet says, "But where will I go, what will I do??" (go directly to fade out and theme music).

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