March 2, 2008

Oscar/Golden Globe-nominee/winner review #5: No Country For Old Men

 No Country for Old MenNO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

Directed by:
Joel and Ethan Coen

Released by: Miramax Films, Paramount Vantage

Noms: Globes Best Picture- Drama, Best Director,Best Screenplay, Oscars Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing,

Wins: Globes Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), Oscars Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay

Tomatometer: 94%

In a nutshell: The film definitely creeped me out, but not in that atypical paranormal sense (because it's obviously a Western thriller). Superior acting and technical polish will especially suck you in, though I never really got that ending (it's not much of a bad thing, though).

Ah, the Coens. I've heard of them. And this is pretty much the first film (made by them) that I've ever seen, but I feel pretty compelled to hunt for their work. Why? It's pretty obvious, no? But I'll elaborate anyway.

It all starts with a man named Llewelyn (Josh Brolin) who goes to a part of the desert just to see the aftermath of a drug deal gone awry. He looks at the crime scene, and then sees the suitcase of a dead Mexican dude that contains 2 million dollars. He would bring the satchel home and well, pretty much set to motion a series of cat and mouse races for his life. A sheriff (Tommy Lee Jones) would also try to help him, but this psycopathic killer (Javier Bardem) is unlike any other, though he kind of knows what his next move is in a sort of philosophical manner.

OK, vague description, but that's because I wouldn't want to spoil anything about this movie. All I can say about it though, is that it definitely, successfully maintains that level of fear throughout the entire movie, even in those parts where you don't have to, because you just feel that Anton (Bardem's character) would sort of just appear and shoot everybody. And those times are just so unpredictable to boot! Plus, the cat and mouse chases between Llewelyn and Anton equally thrilling and scary, so much that it will put you at the edge of your seat (luckily I was on a bed, so yeah, that screams BOOTLEG! PIRATED! DVD!). And my mother, who would normally sleep in the middle of a movie, was definitely awake here. So I'm not exactly alone.

Speaking of DVD, it just seems a fact that genres like these, whether the movie in general is bad or not, is definitely more effective in the theater. So if you can just imagine what I felt during the screening of this movie in the comfort of home, who knows what would happen if you (and I for that matter) were to view this in a theater!

Joel and Ethan Coen definitely make a terrific job in the screenplay and direction, because they execute the near-impossible with perfect ease, and makes you feel like a character even. I can't pick out the words as to how I can tell this to you in detail, but yesterday's (March 1, 08) Inquirer review pretty much said it for me.

And as a bonus, you get to witness Javier Bardem at all his sinister glory, as he kind of almost steals Brolin's presence on-screen. But in case you're wondering whether he is the very loud type of cackling villain you'd stereotypically expect, he's not. He didn't really need to act all over-the-top and all that, and was actually the contrary. Ahh, silence is indeed more evil... and scarier than the screen villains I've seen for a decade.

Oh but good things come to an end, and its ending is pretty strange in the sense that it will make you think to the point that you have to re-view it a second time. But then again, it was already 1 in the morning when we finished. And I was hella tired. But I couldn't sleep though, Anton Chigurh was still etched in my mind, looking for me, wanting to kill me. (-shiver-)

You should definitely watch this gem, though. No, really. Watch THIS. It is indeed the definitive movie of the year of 2007 for me.

Rating: 9.8/10 (My 2007 movie of the year has finally arrived.)

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