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No Country for Old Men

This film won the Best Picture Oscar in 2007.

Yet despite the trophy, I can sum this up in three words: Pretty. Heavy. Shit.

I want to comment first on the performances of the actors, without which this film would be dry as the desert it was set in.

Josh Brolin: Totally effective. Wondered why he looked familiar. That moustache does wonders, by the way.

Woody Harrelson: But of course, it’s Woody. This guy can turn his funny switch on and off at will. And although he isn’t Mr. Funny Guy here, it is delightful to hear him with his Texan drawl.

Tommy Lee Jones: Some people don’t like TLJ as an actor (TLJ?). Well, I do. He’s not really a character actor, and he can only play limited roles, i.e. grumpy old men, but he plays those parts quite well. He nailed the part of K in Men in Black quite well, didn’t he?

And last, but definitely not the least, SeƱor Javier Bardem. He is so despicable that you just wish he were dead. But of course, he doesn’t die, as he is the one who does all the killing.

Of course, great performances are also due largely to the great minds behind the helm. I am of course talking about the auteurs known as Ethan and Joel Coen. What's great about the Coen brothers is their ability to create so much tension in the story alone, then even it out by using other cinematic elements. Take music, for example. Using music like the theme from Psycho, for example, would've created over-tension.  And we don't want that, lest old people watching might die of a stroke. (We don't want this to become No Movie For Old Men.) So when you already have a tension-filled plot, you balance it with music (by using none─or almost none─of it); with cinematography (by using long takes and wide, panoramic shots); with editing (by using less cuts, thus slowing the pace); and with dialogue (by using it sparingly).

Also, the most effective way to cancel out tension is humor. And since Javier Bardem's character is the one that carries the most tension, it is only fitting that his character uses humor to diffuse the tension. Check out his hair.

Isn't that the funniest hairstyle you've ever seen? Okay, maybe it's not that funny─in the thirteenth century. But really, at this day and age, who would want a hairstyle like that?

*some info from IMDb
pic from Blake Loosli and nndb.com

No Country For Old Men. USA. 2007.

Rating: Eight out of ten.
Javier Bardem's hair: Zero out of ten.


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