31 May 2010

No Country For Old Men

Still watching in a slight haze, so again I have less to say than it deserves. Especially for this one. No Country is just about a perfect film. It's got nonstop action, it's smart, it's driven by a momentum that never lets up. As always, the Coens have written some of the sharpest, coolest, stylized-but-not-too-stylized dialogue I've heard ever, and yet the action of the story is almost entirely silent: three sharp-witted professional men moving along isolated trajectories, ricocheting off each other in a deadly pursuit. It's a chase film, and it's the best chase film I know, where Good Guy, Bad Guy, and Cop all get their own stories. Llewellyn is a survivor, not very intelligent but incredibly smart and self-aware, a hunter and soldier and cowboy. Chigurh reads to me like a man furious with human beings, sick to death of them, and coldly obsessed with considering himself more of a force of nature -- of fate even -- than a man. And Sheriff Ed-Tom is, well, the soul of the film. The sad introspective eyes of a man who's only introspective because it's the winter of his days and this is not the world he remembers, or wants to leave behind.

Every time I watch this, I want to give more thought (and therefore more words) to the Missing Reel death of Llewellyn, but today's not the day for that. That's all right, a movie this phenomenal, it's not like I won't be watching it again soon.

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