Filmspotting Forum

Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) => Topic started by: ses on November 09, 2007, 09:52:22 PM

Title: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ses on November 09, 2007, 09:52:22 PM
I just saw this movie tonight and was blown away.  I was just wondering what everyone else thought?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Lugosi on November 10, 2007, 04:03:20 AM
They're not releasing it in the UK until January  >:(
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 10, 2007, 04:52:11 AM
It's amazing. I'm gonna need to think about it a bit more and write my thoughts. Really really amazing.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on November 10, 2007, 04:56:04 AM
It's amazing. I'm gonna need to think about it a bit more and write my thoughts. Really really amazing.

Anxious to hear it, chester! 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: roujin on November 10, 2007, 12:15:55 PM
Last night as I exited from the theater I was having doubts about the ending. It felt too sudden. I didn't know what to think. I also wondered about the mental state that I was in while watching this movie. Then I realized, I absolutely had to see this movie again. One of the year's best movies.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: DaveNJ on November 10, 2007, 08:49:44 PM
It's the best movie of the year, and it may be the best Coen Brothers movie ever. The more I think about this movie the more I love it. I will see it again soon.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: andyg on November 11, 2007, 08:42:07 PM
Which part of the ending is getting people down? I really liked it personally.

The tense scene in the hotel room where he could see the feet under the door was awesome, and then the chase that followed it was a classic too.

Good stuff all around.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ses on November 11, 2007, 09:50:20 PM
Which part of the ending is getting people down? I really liked it personally.

The tense scene in the hotel room where he could see the feet under the door was awesome, and then the chase that followed it was a classic too.

Good stuff all around.

that scene is more tense than almost any "horror" film, you know that the doorknob was going to be blown off, and I still jumped

i think that the lack of music in the movie also added to the tension
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: andyg on November 11, 2007, 10:22:45 PM
Which part of the ending is getting people down? I really liked it personally.

The tense scene in the hotel room where he could see the feet under the door was awesome, and then the chase that followed it was a classic too.

Good stuff all around.

that scene is more tense than almost any "horror" film, you know that the doorknob was going to be blown off, and I still jumped

i think that the lack of music in the movie also added to the tension

Totally.

There were a lot of great moments in the film. That horrible bit where he turns around and sees that his car has been joined by another up in the hill stands out too.

I really liked all the characters. All the supporting ones felt like real people. Kelly MacDonald was great - she never gets enough high profile parts.


Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 11, 2007, 11:54:38 PM
I love the scene at the beginning where Chigurh kills the deputy. The focus more on Chigurh than who he is killing and it makes it is so much creeper. I love it!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: andyg on November 12, 2007, 12:21:41 AM
I love the scene at the beginning where Chigurh kills the deputy. The focus more on Chigurh than who he is killing and it makes it is so much creeper. I love it!

Its the details... the way the camera focuses on Chigurh's face once the blood starts to flow. Ugh! Gruesome deaths.
But just like the filmspotting guys said. Its the final, off screen death that is most troubling.

Now I think about it a bit, I suppose the death of the 'hero' is rather unsatisfying.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Rene A. Moncivais on November 12, 2007, 12:04:25 PM
This all sounds exactly like the book.  After I read it, I thought people are going to hate the way this movie ends.  I also thought the same thing about the off screen death.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 12, 2007, 12:10:19 PM
I loved the ending.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: etslee on November 12, 2007, 02:52:10 PM
I really had to force myself to watch this, usually not a big fan of ultraviolent films, but the overwhelming positive reviews prompted me to check it out last night. I admired the technical filmmaking, the buildup of almost unbearable suspense, but overall I can't say I really loved it. I think it was the lack of character development. We get only a snapshot of the life of these people, and I just didn't care that much for them. The only character I really started to care for, Josh Brolin, gets taken out offscreen?? Yeah, I know vlolence happens that way in real life etc etc. But still very unsatisfying. I also didn't believe he would have gone back to the crime scene with water. Tommy Lee Jones was playing the same character he's done many times before. He also seemed totally disconnected from the rest of the film. Javier Bardem WILL get nominated, what a great performance!

On a strange note, a real murder took place at the Metreon Theater a block from where I watched NCFOM in SF.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on November 13, 2007, 09:57:20 PM
Moments I loved:
1. Llewelyn is in the airport on the phone to his wife and at least two men in the             background have a very similar haircut to Chigurh.
2. Chigurh is leaving Llewelyn's wife and checks the bottom of his shoes. All we needed to know.
3. The ending, though it did feel like a novel. not necessarily a good or bad thing.

Moments I didn't love:
1. Tommy Lee Jones in the motel room at the end. Did I miss something?
2. Most of the scenes with Tommy Lee Jones. Felt out of place.

Still a great film, just not quite as good as Fargo, yet. I didn't love Fargo the first time I watched it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: OldWest on November 14, 2007, 01:40:53 AM
I loved the off-screen death.  Strangely though, the thing that stuck with me most was the edit just before he is killed.  There is a long, awkward fade to black the last time we see him alive.  I took not of this and kept thinking about it throughout the rest of the movie.  Then i realized, this was probably meant to be some kind of foreshadowing.  Brilliant filmmaking.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on November 14, 2007, 02:51:56 PM
One day later...

Can't wait to see it again. I've nearly forgotten the minor problems I had with it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Drew in Philly on November 18, 2007, 10:15:22 AM
I loved the off-screen death.  Strangely though, the thing that stuck with me most was the edit just before he is killed.  There is a long, awkward fade to black the last time we see him alive.  I took not of this and kept thinking about it throughout the rest of the movie.  Then i realized, this was probably meant to be some kind of foreshadowing.  Brilliant filmmaking.

Regarding the fade to black, I felt like this was similar to what some people were theorizing about the end of The Sopranos, in that, in the exact moment after the fade to black, the proverbial "crap" hit the fan.  Thus, the woman floating dead in the pool, etc.

I feel like a couple others on this board, where when I was walking out of the theatre last night, I wasn't really sure how I thought about it, but as I keep thinking about it this morning, I REALLY want to see it again.

Anybody else walking home/to their cars after the movie felt like somebody was going to jump out of the dark holding a cattle gun?  Just me?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: karlwinslow on November 20, 2007, 08:30:21 PM
I loved the ending.

me too.  it reminded me of the ending to children of men, one of my favorites from last year.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Junior on November 21, 2007, 03:48:51 PM
The ending was fantastic. Unfortunately, some of the people in the theater didn't think so. "It was the best movie of the year up until the ending, then it went downhill fast." Just cuz it wasn't the ending you expected doesn't mean the ending wasn't great.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: carternixon on November 22, 2007, 02:59:58 AM
I have just gotten home from seeing this and I am blown away.
I think it is possibly the coen's best film and it is definitely my favourite film of the year.

The performances were terrific and I am so glad to finally have another film this year that I can't wait to go back to and watch again. Up until this point the only 2 films I have truly loved was Zodiac and Death Proof. It hasn't been a great year for films for me..many disappointments but this was one I was really waiting for and I am just glad that it was was everything I hoped it would be.

I loved Tommy Lee Jones and his thread through the film - It's been a long time since I saw him do something that didn't feel like almost a second hand version of himself and while his role was similar to other roles he has played here he was perfectly jaded.

and Brolin is on a hell of a streak huh.

A great great film. Very happy.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on November 23, 2007, 07:31:37 PM
a nice snippet from a letter to The Chicago Reader:

Quote
If I may be so bold as to speak for Mr. Rosenbaum: his main objection, I think, is how other critics tend to treat the Coen brothers (and their films) as top-of-the-line art/artists . . . when, in fact, they remain clever film school students who use technique—chiefly, the palette of a great cinematographer, Roger Deakins—to disguise their lack of depth.

I never read the Rosenbaum piece, but will likely go back for it.

Coens - OVERRATED.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 23, 2007, 08:04:28 PM
I'd love to see that person's list of filmmakers who use technique better and are "deeper." Give me a break.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Kevin Shields on November 23, 2007, 11:06:26 PM
I'd love to see that person's list of filmmakers who use technique better and are "deeper." Give me a break.

Agreed!!!!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: enzobot24 on November 24, 2007, 03:11:49 AM
I convinced my friends (back from college for Thanksgiving) to see this over Hitman.

I loved this movie, best film of the year for me - it bested Zodiac and Grindhouse (more Death Proof than Planet Terror).

My friends, save for one, didn't like the ending... I thought it was perfect and very novel-like, which is rare in a film.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on November 24, 2007, 11:36:09 AM
I'd love to see that person's list of filmmakers who use technique better and are "deeper." Give me a break.

So what is "deep" about the Coens?  I'm not playing dumb, I really don't get them.  They are good at leaving an impression that they are doing something smart/philosophical/whatever but I have never been able to figure out what that might be.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 24, 2007, 03:12:28 PM
I don't know what's "deep" about the Coen's. Not anything I would push on others to believe anyway. I'd just like to see that person's list of other great technicians who are so much smarter and deeper. It sounds fantastically smug.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on November 24, 2007, 03:30:27 PM
I'm not buying the premise, but just for fun:

Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Ophüls, Antonioni, Murnau ...

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 24, 2007, 03:36:20 PM
Great start... Tarkovsky was the first name that came to my mind. The Coen Bros. certainly have something all 5 of those names don't though (more or less) -- a sense of humor. Of course, I don't think the Coens have gone on record anywhere suggesting that they have the same artistic aspirations as those folks, or belong in the same hallowed company.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: nougatmachine on November 25, 2007, 02:21:17 PM
Here's a (possibly) dumb question. What did you make of the scene where Bardem's car has the sudden collision near the end, and the subsequent moments with the kids? I wasn't sure what to make of it. Nor am I sure how I feel about the movie as a whole, really --- I certainly liked it, and there were amazing moments, but looking back on it I feel more confounded than necessarily blown away. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on November 25, 2007, 02:23:28 PM
To be brief - you can't stop what's coming
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on November 25, 2007, 03:25:23 PM
To be brief - you can't stop what's coming

Agree.  I understand Bardem's character, Chigurh (what does that mean?), as personifying Chance, which can't be stopped.  The choice to linger on the green light suggests the freakery of the accident, there is never any doubt that Chigurh is going to walk away from the accident and not get caught. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: TomSt on November 25, 2007, 08:02:09 PM
I'm going to have to be one of the voices of dissent and say that I found this movie a little disappointing.  Part of that may have been the hype (I thought I had overcome my absolute love for Fargo and had accepted that the Coen brothers would never make it's equal, but I will admit that the reviews for this one instilled in me a moment of hope), but the other part is that the first third of No Country For Old Men is pretty great.  It just felt like there weren't enough new elements being introduced as the film went on.  I guess I just didn't find Chigurh as fascinating as other people and the cat and mouse between him and Brolin's character didn't seem well thought out or well explained.  How did Chigurh find Brolin at those two hotels (before coming in range of the transmitter)?  I can imagine a movie effectively making use of a character's seemingly superhuman abilities to create terror in another, but the movie seemed to be relying too much on Chigurh's methods for it's entertainment to get away with being vague in this area.  And then, you know, I thought there were deficiencies in other areas as well...

Just curious.  What are people's opinion on something like A Simple Plan vs. No Country For Old Men?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 25, 2007, 11:27:26 PM
I would agree.  There are all kinds of weird idosyncracies about the movie... like the Lidocaine bottles and syringes that Chigurh (?) uses look exactly like the ones in use today.  No way!  That totally destroyed my suspension of disbelief.  Also, the first motel that Moss stays at?  It has HBO?  In 1980?  Nuh uh!

Seriously though, why did this apparently hard bitten Moss guy decide to go back and give water to the Mexican in the middle of the night?  A lot of pulp fiction elements to this movie, and I'm not sure that it should have any higher aspirations
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on November 25, 2007, 11:33:32 PM
Seriously though, why did this apparently hard bitten Moss guy decide to go back and give water to the Mexican in the middle of the night?  A lot of pulp fiction elements to this movie, and I'm not sure that it should have any higher aspirations

I thought the water bit actually made sense, I thought he was supposed to be a relatively decent guy  The Woody H character was totally unnecessary and dragged the film down for various reasons.


Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 25, 2007, 11:47:21 PM
In the middle of the night? Who in their right mind would go back to a slaughter with God knows who around?  It strains credibility.  This is apart from the fact that it's been hours since you were there, and the man you are bringing the water to is almost certainly dead because you didn't get him any medical attention.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on November 26, 2007, 12:15:12 AM
I thought it was pretty clear that he couldn't sleep because he felt bad about leaving the guy for dead.  Moss had a conscience.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 26, 2007, 12:18:26 AM
Also, the first motel that Moss stays at?  It has HBO?  In 1980?  Nuh uh!

Why would it not have HBO in 1980?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 26, 2007, 12:23:28 AM
That's fine.  People feel guilty all the time.  Going back to the scene was nuts.  He even says it as he's leaving.

I thought it was pretty clear that he couldn't sleep because he felt bad about leaving the guy for dead.  Moss had a conscience.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 26, 2007, 12:24:12 AM
Was there cable in West Texas in 1980?

Also, the first motel that Moss stays at?  It has HBO?  In 1980?  Nuh uh!

Why would it not have HBO in 1980?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: enzobot24 on November 26, 2007, 01:19:48 AM
Well, HBO was made in 1972... so it isn't farfetched.

Also, the design of syringes haven't changed much since the 1940s.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: andyg on November 26, 2007, 01:20:36 AM
I would agree.  There are all kinds of weird idosyncracies about the movie... like the Lidocaine bottles and syringes that Chigurh (?) uses look exactly like the ones in use today.  No way!  That totally destroyed my suspension of disbelief.  Also, the first motel that Moss stays at?  It has HBO?  In 1980?  Nuh uh!

Seriously though, why did this apparently hard bitten Moss guy decide to go back and give water to the Mexican in the middle of the night?  A lot of pulp fiction elements to this movie, and I'm not sure that it should have any higher aspirations

Well, in regard to the syringes and HBO in 1980, Im pretty sure that only an teeny weeny percentage of any audience would pick up on such a thing. (In fact, I had no memory that it was set in 1980 anyway!)

Also, the thing with the water is to show that hes not as hard bitten as you might think. At this point in the film we barely even know the guy, right? This is an act that, among others, illustrates that hes not a bad guy.

Having said that now that the film has settled down a bit Im thinking thats maybe its not as good as I first imagined.It has a lot of great scenes but Im not sure anymore that the film as a whole is quite as good as some are making out. I think I need to see it again to make sure :)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 26, 2007, 01:29:33 AM
Having said that now that the film has settled down a bit Im thinking thats maybe its not as good as I first imagined.It has a lot of great scenes but Im not sure anymore that the film as a whole is quite as good as some are making out. I think I need to see it again to make sure :)

no. it's that great.  ;)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 26, 2007, 01:47:56 AM
I maintain that this is a good noir that is being blown out of proportion due to who directed it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: scooterb23 on November 27, 2007, 07:27:52 PM
First off, let me say how much I love the fact that the week of it's wide opening...the city I live closest to only has 2 places pick it up, in a town with 23 theaters followed by movietickets.com, 2 grab NCFOM, thanks.  I had a similar rant when Shoot 'Em Up came out, I think 1 place got it, and due to a funeral I had to go to, I missed my movie day that week, and the next week the movie was gone.  That's for another rant though.

Now, here is my film n00b confession.  Before yesterday, I've only seen 1 Coen Brothers movie all the way through (Hudsucker Proxy).  I've seen bits of a few others, but their name being attached to the movie didn't mean a ton to me.  Having said that, I really loved this movie, and if it's still at the one place next week, I may go see it again. 

After watching it, I'm seeing a lot of people online confused (and on another forum) mad at the movie for the "open" ending.  Now, I'm not a terribly smart man, and I do tend to let my mind wander...making me sometimes miss important info.  But honestly, I felt like I got closure to this movie.  It may not be the kind of closure I want and or expect out of a movie, but I gathered as I was watching that this isn't a very typical movie...  I do feel like I got an ending, and that it wasn't left open as some have suggested.

I do wish I was paying a little bit more attention during Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end, I feel like I missed something there. 

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: VmSoze on November 27, 2007, 07:34:05 PM
First off, let me say how much I love the fact that the week of it's wide opening...the city I live closest to only has 2 places pick it up, in a town with 23 theaters followed by movietickets.com, 2 grab NCFOM, thanks.  I had a similar rant when Shoot 'Em Up came out, I think 1 place got it, and due to a funeral I had to go to, I missed my movie day that week, and the next week the movie was gone.  That's for another rant though.

Now, here is my film n00b confession.  Before yesterday, I've only seen 1 Coen Brothers movie all the way through (Hudsucker Proxy).  I've seen bits of a few others, but their name being attached to the movie didn't mean a ton to me.  Having said that, I really loved this movie, and if it's still at the one place next week, I may go see it again. 

After watching it, I'm seeing a lot of people online confused (and on another forum) mad at the movie for the "open" ending.  Now, I'm not a terribly smart man, and I do tend to let my mind wander...making me sometimes miss important info.  But honestly, I felt like I got closure to this movie.  It may not be the kind of closure I want and or expect out of a movie, but I gathered as I was watching that this isn't a very typical movie...  I do feel like I got an ending, and that it wasn't left open as some have suggested.

I do wish I was paying a little bit more attention during Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end, I feel like I missed something there. 



Where do you live?  I'm just outside of Manhattan and only 1 theater near me had the movie this weekend...
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: andyg on November 27, 2007, 07:53:08 PM
First off, let me say how much I love the fact that the week of it's wide opening...the city I live closest to only has 2 places pick it up, in a town with 23 theaters followed by movietickets.com, 2 grab NCFOM, thanks.  I had a similar rant when Shoot 'Em Up came out, I think 1 place got it, and due to a funeral I had to go to, I missed my movie day that week, and the next week the movie was gone.  That's for another rant though.

Now, here is my film n00b confession.  Before yesterday, I've only seen 1 Coen Brothers movie all the way through (Hudsucker Proxy).  I've seen bits of a few others, but their name being attached to the movie didn't mean a ton to me.  Having said that, I really loved this movie, and if it's still at the one place next week, I may go see it again. 

After watching it, I'm seeing a lot of people online confused (and on another forum) mad at the movie for the "open" ending.  Now, I'm not a terribly smart man, and I do tend to let my mind wander...making me sometimes miss important info.  But honestly, I felt like I got closure to this movie.  It may not be the kind of closure I want and or expect out of a movie, but I gathered as I was watching that this isn't a very typical movie...  I do feel like I got an ending, and that it wasn't left open as some have suggested.

I do wish I was paying a little bit more attention during Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end, I feel like I missed something there. 



Where do you live?  I'm just outside of Manhattan and only 1 theater near me had the movie this weekend...

Wide is still a relative term. Its still only on about a quarter of the screens that Enchanted is. While part of me thinks wouldnt they just make mroe money if they show it on more screens, I do understand that its an expensive risk to put out 3000 prints if most of the country is looking for some light entertainment.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 27, 2007, 08:01:16 PM
I maintain that this is a good noir that is being blown out of proportion due to who directed it.
I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It's like saying everybody likes Death Proof because it has Tarantino's name on it. No, Death Proof is that good BECAUSE Tarantino directed it, just as No Country is that good BECAUSE the Coen Bros. directed it. I guess everyone just thought I was rambling during our review because every inch of that film is a Coen Bros. film.

And yeah, let's not overthink the water thing. Of course it was a little unbelievable. But you know what, I'd be that tortured by it. And if a movie with a character who is basically the grim reaper asks me to suspend disbelief a little, I'm fine with that. If that is bothering you then the whole movie isn't working for you... somehow.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: choatime on November 27, 2007, 08:16:34 PM
I saw it in Nashville, TN, where it was only playing in only two theaters, but on two screens at the theater I saw it at.  It's playing at one theater here in Columbia.

It was packed when I saw it on Friday.   And it seemed a lot of them hated the ending.  Or maybe there were just the most vocal.   I don't know what they were complaining about.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on November 27, 2007, 09:00:01 PM
The water thing didn't bother me, either. Maybe it would have on second viewing.

As for the ending, my audience also seemed to mostly hate it. One man in front of me even said "So the whole thing was a dream".
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 27, 2007, 09:07:48 PM
"So the whole thing was a dream".
It was right?  ???
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on November 27, 2007, 09:11:10 PM
Not in my book. But you're welcome to think whatever you want.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: gateway on November 27, 2007, 09:51:15 PM
Of course the water situation is a little unbelievable, but isn't that basically stated outright? I remember Moss saying something along the lines of what he was about to do was insanely stupid. I think as long as the irrationality of it is acknowledged (and in character) it's fine, because face it, people do irrational things. And having your guilty conscience force you to possibly risk your life to grant a dying man's request is more on the lower end of the unbelievability spectrum, in my opinion.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: chesterfilms on November 27, 2007, 10:03:15 PM
i was kidding
Title: Re: #185: No Country For Old Men / Josh Brolin / Top 5 Coen Bros. Scenes
Post by: Dave Turner on November 27, 2007, 10:28:35 PM
I have a question about a scene in NCFOM that doesn't make sense to me.  Hopefully the Filmspotting faithful can come to my rescue.  ;)

I'm having trouble with the scene near the end of the movie where Bell (the Sheriff) goes back to the hotel room where Llewellyn was killed.  He approaches the motel door and sees that the lock is punched out.  The camera focuses on Bell's face.  The next shot is a tight close up of the lock cylinder without the lock mechanism.  We go back to Bell's face. 

Next, we see Chigur, seemingly clutching his silenced shotgun and behind the motel room door.  In the foreground of the shot, we see light coming through the lock cylinder.  Now we get a tight close-up of the lock cylinder from Chigur's POV.  Then we get Chigur's face/eyes again.

Bell eases his gun out of the holster and pushes the door open.  The door appears to open fully, banging gently against the wall of the hotel room.  Bell goes into the room, finds it empty, and sits down on the bed.

Here are the questions I have:

1) Where the hell does Chigur go?  It seems like Bell pushes the door hard enough to bang against the wall of the room.  There's no room there for Chigur to hide. 
2) Do Chigur and Bell see each other?  A friend said that during each tight close-up on the lock cylinder (from each character's perspective), she saw a reflection or outline of a man, maybe a man holding a gun.   I've seen the movie twice and, while I wasn't looking for a reflection, I didn't see that.  She suggests that they know that the other is there, due to this reflection.  It still doesn't explain why Bell doesn't go after Chigur or even see him, though.
3) Why does Chigur, if he's in the hotel room, let Bell live?  Chigur is a sociopath who has killed a policeman earlier in the film.  There's nothing in the film to suggest that Chigur should have mercy on Bell.  Yet Bell somehow lives and Chigur is never seen.  Considering how tightly-plotted and consistent the movie is, this struck me as odd.

Can anyone help me with these questions?  I'm going crazy!  ;)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: kypade on November 27, 2007, 11:15:09 PM
I don't know for sure, but I kinda took that whole Chiguhr-behind-the-door bit to be in Bell's head. Like, he takes a long while to finally enter the room, right, and just kinda builds the subsequent shots of Chiguhr up in his imagination. I think Chigurh would have been long gone by then...how long would it take him to get in, get the money and leave? Not long. Doesn't seem likely that he waits until much later that night and just happens to still be in the room when Bell shows up.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Dave Turner on November 28, 2007, 06:45:35 AM
I don't know for sure, but I kinda took that whole Chiguhr-behind-the-door bit to be in Bell's head. Like, he takes a long while to finally enter the room, right, and just kinda builds the subsequent shots of Chiguhr up in his imagination. I think Chigurh would have been long gone by then...how long would it take him to get in, get the money and leave? Not long. Doesn't seem likely that he waits until much later that night and just happens to still be in the room when Bell shows up.
I'd considered that, kypade, but it doesn't seem to fit the rest of the movie.  Are there any other hallucinatory or imagined scenes like that in the film?  Off the top of my head, I can't remember any.  It's an answer that fits what we know, but seems out of place.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: kypade on November 28, 2007, 06:57:49 AM
Good point. Like I said, I don't really know, that's just how I looked at it. It seems out of place, maybe, but to me it's much less out place than Chigurh hiding behind the door and not killing the Sheriff. Bell has spent the entire film thinking about and chasing, but never encountering this guy. He's finally about to come head to head with the devil, and you can tell by his actions outside the door that he's scared and hesitant. He's absolutely got to be thinking about what could be on the other side, right? Why not show that?

I dunno, man. It's certainly not clear, and I don't think it's supposed to be, but that's how I feel.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Dave Turner on November 28, 2007, 07:17:06 AM
In the absence of any other reasonable explanation, kypade, I'm with you!  :)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Rene A. Moncivais on November 28, 2007, 09:13:09 AM
I knew the mass audience would hate the ending of the movie.  There was some people complaining about that when they left my theater too.  To me the ending pretty much sums up the title of the movie and book. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 28, 2007, 10:12:59 AM
About the Chigurh-Bell scene at the end... Brolin definitely said there is the possibility that Chigurh isn't "really there." Do with that what you will.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Junior on November 28, 2007, 10:18:21 AM
I read something smart on IMDB yesterday (I was shocked) about Chigurh not just being a psycho assassin but Death itself.

Quote
My Dad sent me an email of his interpretation of this film. Have a read, and tell me if you think he's on the right track...
I like his synopsis, but maybe I am biased because I'm related. But it reads pretty good imho.

    The intense drama in this suspenseful movie certainly kept me riveted to the screen and at the edge of my seat but when the ending wasn’t what most if not all of the audience expected I wondered if I missed something. I found the answer in the last few scenes, starting with Chigurh sitting at the curb with gruesome injuries as a result of the car accident which left the other driver dead, to the ending where he just walked away.

    There had to be something more, and when I recalled what Chigurh said to the two young fellows who showed concern for his severe injuries and offered any help they could give, I sensed that there was more to the movie than death and destruction. As he walked away, he turned and said to them in essence “you haven’t seen me”. This simple statement helped me understand why some people died and others lived when Anton revealed himself to them in one way or another. I don’t think that Anton was hired to find the missing money and kill those that stood in his way, but rather that he was always there and revealed himself to those whose fate it was to die. That was his mission and reason for existing. His presence, I believe, was symbolic in nature but the fact that he was visible added not only suspense but also a potent dimension of fear. There was no point looking for him. He always found the intended target and it was pointless to try to run and hide from him.

    If we look at Chigurh as the personification of death and get over the idea that he was after the two million or so dollars, killing any and all that interfered with his search to find it, then we can see some interesting symbolism that makes it profoundly evident that death is never far from those who engage in dangerous deeds or occupations. The sheriff had such an occupation but he also saw death so many times in various forms during his time as lawman. Being at the end of his career, could it be that he turned introspective and was so pre-occupied with death that his dreams may have created its personification in the form of Anton Chigurh?

    Rather than write about the obvious causes leading to death, I will give my theory of whether or why some people died and others didn’t, discussing those cases I can still recollect.

    Starting with the two boys who offered their help. The key is that although they saw Anton, they did not see him as Death. Anton said to them “you didn’t see me”. The gas station attendant who was challenged to call the outcome of the coin flip was spared because this time the outcome was in his favor. Perhaps the message here is that being so isolated, he could easily be the target of someone intent on doing harm. Anton represented such a threat and the man behind the counter probably didn’t realize how close he came to being killed. On the other had, Llewellyn’s wife, although death was very real to her at this point in her life, refused to give in to his challenge and became a survivor. The sheriff encountered death on a daily basis but unlike his colleague at the start of the movie, escaped its clutches so far. Nevertheless, he was cognizant of its threat, as symbolically illustrated by Anton crouching in a corner inside the motel room, but in he confronted his fears and went inside. Once in the room, he turned on the lights and sat down on the bed relaxed. Anton was gone, but this episode was for me confirmation of Chigurh’s symbolic nature.

    Another incident gave credibility to my theory. It was the scene where Anton enters the office of the man who sent Carson Wells to find the money. He shot him as soon as he entered. I believe that it was symbolic of the sudden death of a man who obviously lived an unhealthy life style and probably died of a massive heart attack. Now what about the young accountant? He asked Anton “are you going to kill me too?” to which Anton replied with the question “can you see me?” I trust that the young accountant got the message and got out of there instead of answering with a “yes”. The heavy-set lady Chigurh asked if she knew of Llewellyn’s whereabouts was too occupied with, among other things, doing her nails and hardly acknowledged his presence. I’m sure that this saved her life.

    I have mentioned incidents I could remember and saw those as evidence that the deeper message of the movie was that there are circumstances where death is very near. There are those who have a close call, and those who simply refuse to give in and become survivors. There are also those who meet death through acts of violence or a life style that sends them to an early grave. And all too often there are innocent victims simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anton doesn’t discriminate. He exists to fulfill his mission swiftly and without mercy or compassion.

    Could it be that the events depicted in the movie were incidents the sheriff recalled and that Anton and the strange methods he used to kill his victims were exaggerated manifestations of the brain’s attempt to put a human face on the symbols of death? I believe that the movie gave some insight into the mind of Sheriff Bell who, facing retirement, recalled some of the more traumatic and memorable events from his career and came face to face with thoughts of his own mortality and its finality. But he also showed courage to confront his fears (at the motel crime scene) and apprehensions.

    It would take me too long to respond to the many other scenarios, but trust that I have said enough to encourage people to take a fresh look at this movie. I found my discovery of its deeper meaning interesting enough to want to see it again. This time, the ending will make perfect sense to me.

The author gets a couple of things wrong (Carla Jean does die...) but it works, I think.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on November 28, 2007, 10:28:18 AM
Haven't gone through it yet in detail... but of course, saying "have you seen me" or "you haven't seen me" 'could' just be his way of saying... I was never here. Doesn't have to be something more metaphysical than that. However, I wouldn't put it past the Coens at all.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Junior on November 28, 2007, 10:32:21 AM
And here is another good article (http://www.avclub.com/content/blog/book_vs_film_no_country_for_old) about the difference between the book and the movie from The AV Club.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Junior on November 28, 2007, 10:33:32 AM
Haven't gone through it yet in detail... but of course, saying "have you seen me" or "you haven't seen me" 'could' just be his way of saying... I was never here.

That's what I took it to mean, but this is an interesting, if not "correct", theory. At least I thought so.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: kypade on November 28, 2007, 10:51:16 AM
It's interesting (and he's certainly not the only one to see it similarly), but whether you buy into it or not doesn't strike me as too important. "Death" or not, it's still a physical character interacting with other characters. Can't see how reading it that way could ever be misinterpreting anything. (Unless he is saying that Chigurh never existed at all, and was symbolic of death, not representative of Death, in which case I don't get, or buy it. I also haven't read the theory in depth though.)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Clovis8 on November 30, 2007, 01:25:13 AM
Wow I loved this movie. I think it might be on my top 10 all time best list. A question though....I am not 100% sure Llywelan dies? They never show a closeup of his body and never make any clear statements about his death. Then they show his mother-in-law's funeral. Could it not be that she was killed in the motel and this is why Llywelan's wife cries when the sheriff shows up? Was there some clear evidence that Llyewlan actually dies?

I too was a little confused by ending and will be going to see this move again. But wow is it amazing.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Osprey on November 30, 2007, 03:53:50 AM
I'm not sure why you think bringing up Death Proof helps defend this film. Tarantino's been going downhill for a while, since Jackie Brown in my estimation.  Death Proof is the weakest thing of his I've seen.  I think NCFOM was a much better movie.

I maintain that this is a good noir that is being blown out of proportion due to who directed it.
I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It's like saying everybody likes Death Proof because it has Tarantino's name on it. No, Death Proof is that good BECAUSE Tarantino directed it, just as No Country is that good BECAUSE the Coen Bros. directed it. I guess everyone just thought I was rambling during our review because every inch of that film is a Coen Bros. film
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on November 30, 2007, 04:07:44 AM
I'm not sure why you think bringing up Death Proof helps defend this film. Tarantino's been going downhill for a while, since Jackie Brown in my estimation.  Death Proof is the weakest thing of his I've seen.  I think NCFOM was a much better movie.

Adam didn't use Deathproof to defend No Country for Old Men, but rather to try to rebut your asserted correlation between a film's critical reception and a film's authorship.

That being said, I don't think your original point was, to borrow Adam's word, ridiculous. Not completely. However, my experience with No Country for Old Men is completely the opposite: I tend to be more critical of films whose directors have done great work in the past — because of the higher expectations I have going in.

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Rene A. Moncivais on November 30, 2007, 09:13:19 AM
Wow I loved this movie. I think it might be on my top 10 all time best list. A question though....I am not 100% sure Llywelan dies? They never show a closeup of his body and never make any clear statements about his death. Then they show his mother-in-law's funeral. Could it not be that she was killed in the motel and this is why Llywelan's wife cries when the sheriff shows up? Was there some clear evidence that Llyewlan actually dies?

I too was a little confused by ending and will be going to see this move again. But wow is it amazing.

They showed Llywelan's body didn't they?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Clovis8 on November 30, 2007, 10:17:11 AM
They showed someone in the morgue from way back.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Rene A. Moncivais on November 30, 2007, 10:19:28 AM
I thought that was his body when the camera moved to show a dead body at the door of the hotel?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Clovis8 on November 30, 2007, 10:21:25 AM
I dont think they ever show it as him for sure but again I might have missed something. But showing the mothers funeral as the next scene makes me wonder if LLyelwn really did die.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: kypade on November 30, 2007, 10:41:04 AM
That was Llewelyn right inside the door with the bloody shirt. He was dead. The mother died, presumably, of cancer (she would have been in the car with her daughter when they pulled up to the hotel masacre, I'm sure).
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Clovis8 on November 30, 2007, 10:48:06 AM
That was Llewelyn right inside the door with the bloody shirt. He was dead. The mother died, presumably, of cancer (she would have been in the car with her daughter when they pulled up to the hotel masacre, I'm sure).

You sound kind of unsure. Can someone confirm for sure that they show his body or make some direct reference to his death? I am going to see this movie again this weekend so I might answer this myself. The more I think about this film the more I love it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: kypade on November 30, 2007, 10:56:05 AM
No, it's him. Re: cancer and re: car, I can't be sure sure, because it's not made 100% clear, but the mother mentions having cancer and i'm pretty positive there's no random jump from when they're together to somehow the mother getting to the hotel before Carla...just dun make sense.

edit - but to clarify, yes, he's definitely shown dead.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on December 01, 2007, 08:28:33 PM
[picking up a conversation from the Movies With a Perfect Cast (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=766.msg63614#msg63614) thread]

I agree about the mom in No Country, she really stuck out for me.  On the way home from the theatre, I was trying to think of one thing that didn't work, and she was all I came up with.  She is just such a clash with the rest of the mood of the film, and she really doesn't serve much of a purpose to justify such a contrast.

The probable explanation is that they only had one scene to introduce the mother before she gets conned into giving up the hotel where Llewelyn is going to be — so they had to exaggerate her character in order to make that far-fetched plot point at least slightly palatable/credible.

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on December 01, 2007, 08:58:32 PM
He's dead, yes. On the floor of the hotel. No question.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Dave Turner on December 05, 2007, 06:45:08 PM
About the Chigurh-Bell scene at the end... Brolin definitely said there is the possibility that Chigurh isn't "really there." Do with that what you will.
Thanks for this reply, Adam (and all the rest!).  I've come to adopt this as an acceptable explanation for things. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: jeblucas on December 14, 2007, 03:12:21 PM
I feel like there were some unanswered questions earlier in the thread that I may have some closure on for folks...

The Mexicans find and kill Llewellyn--they got the info they needed from Carla Jean. Sheriff Bell pulls up as that bloodbath resolves itself. There was no Llewellyn v. Chigurh showdown at all. The cops do their thing with the scene, secure it and leave. Chigurh shows up, blows the lock out and recovers the cash--and the sheriff swings by because he knows Chigurh is willing to visit crime scenes (a fact alluded to by the other lawman). Chigurh is in the closet. Bell doesn't see him, and honestly--doesn't look that hard--he's retiring for sure--this whole thing was too much.

I'm in the camp that Anton Chigurh is not The Grim Reaper--he's just some sociopath; but he certainly represents malevolence in the world. That's why there's no closure with him Of course he gets away--it doesn't matter how many lawmen there are and how they keep handing off the torch of responsibility one to the next--bad things will happen. Anton Chigurh is Bad Things.

Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson's character) is there to show that Anton is not about the money. Carson is about the money. Chigurh is like the plague, and Carson--a Bad Guy by any reckoning thinks that Anton is a Bad Guy. Carson is part of this analogy:  Regular People:Carson::Carson:Anton. That's what I got from that character--it's to cement the utter inhumanity of Anton. Which is again hammered home in Carla Jean's final scene when Anton points out that the coin got there the same way he did. Killing Carla Jean means as much to the coin as it does to Anton. There's no humanity to appeal to in that coin, just as there is none in Anton.

This is going on my all-time list. Amazing film.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: dootdootmeeep on December 30, 2007, 10:44:19 AM
what was the blog they talked about in the top 10 roundtable?  It was the one that built up a case against No Country?  I believe Adam said he would have to check it out.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on December 30, 2007, 03:33:31 PM
Dave Kehr is a former critic for (I believe) The Chicago Reader and the current DVD critic for the New York Times.

The entry in question from his blog can be found here (http://davekehr.com/?p=265#comments).
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on December 30, 2007, 04:01:09 PM
That Kehr bit nicely sums up my unimpressedness with the Bros
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on December 30, 2007, 04:04:23 PM
Yeah?  I think he's full of CINECAST.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Adam on December 30, 2007, 04:14:05 PM
I feel like there were some unanswered questions earlier in the thread that I may have some closure on for folks...

The Mexicans find and kill Llewellyn--they got the info they needed from Carla Jean. Sheriff Bell pulls up as that bloodbath resolves itself. There was no Llewellyn v. Chigurh showdown at all. The cops do their thing with the scene, secure it and leave. Chigurh shows up, blows the lock out and recovers the cash--and the sheriff swings by because he knows Chigurh is willing to visit crime scenes (a fact alluded to by the other lawman). Chigurh is in the closet. Bell doesn't see him, and honestly--doesn't look that hard--he's retiring for sure--this whole thing was too much.

I'm in the camp that Anton Chigurh is not The Grim Reaper--he's just some sociopath; but he certainly represents malevolence in the world. That's why there's no closure with him Of course he gets away--it doesn't matter how many lawmen there are and how they keep handing off the torch of responsibility one to the next--bad things will happen. Anton Chigurh is Bad Things.

Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson's character) is there to show that Anton is not about the money. Carson is about the money. Chigurh is like the plague, and Carson--a Bad Guy by any reckoning thinks that Anton is a Bad Guy. Carson is part of this analogy:  Regular People:Carson::Carson:Anton. That's what I got from that character--it's to cement the utter inhumanity of Anton. Which is again hammered home in Carla Jean's final scene when Anton points out that the coin got there the same way he did. Killing Carla Jean means as much to the coin as it does to Anton. There's no humanity to appeal to in that coin, just as there is none in Anton.

This is going on my all-time list. Amazing film.

Was anyone really suggesting there was a Chigurh-Moss showdown? I don't think anyone would argue Chigurh 'is' the grim reaper. I mean, he's flesh and blood. But he's certainly 'like' the grim reaper. He's of no real origin that we can discern. He shows up, takes your life and that's about it. I don't think we're disagreeing about this though. I will say that I prefer a more grim reaper type reading of the hotel room scene with Bell at the end. I don't believe Chigurh would hide in a closet. Josh Brolin told me, at least in his mind, it's definitely up for interpretation whether Chigurh is really 'there.' I don't know whether the Coens slipped him some insight or not.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: roujin on December 30, 2007, 04:19:59 PM
Dave Kehr is a former critic for (I believe) The Chicago Reader and the current DVD critic for the New York Times.

The entry in question from his blog can be found here (http://davekehr.com/?p=265#comments).

His take on the strangling scene is pretty ridiculous.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on December 30, 2007, 04:24:09 PM
Dave Kehr is a former critic for (I believe) The Chicago Reader and the current DVD critic for the New York Times.

The entry in question from his blog can be found here (http://davekehr.com/?p=265#comments).

His take on the strangling scene is pretty ridiculous.

No, it is perfect.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: philip918 on December 30, 2007, 11:13:39 PM
That entire article is pretty ridiculous.  I'm really looking forward to There Will Be Blood, but the other three films he mentions - Michael Clayton, Beowulf and Sweeny Todd were three of the most disappointing films of the year, so I'd have to say my tastes are quite different from his.
Seriously, condescension via linoleum?  Come on.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on December 30, 2007, 11:25:46 PM
Yeah, I also really liked everything he wrote.  I thought his example of Jones' Sheriff "laughing it off" pretty much says it all.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ses on December 30, 2007, 11:26:03 PM
I can't even remember the linoleum, I was looking at Chigurh.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: choatime on December 31, 2007, 10:07:51 AM
I noticed all the bootmarks on the linoleum after the fight, which I thought was a sign of greatness, one of the film's many images of how violence lingers in a place long after the fighting has stopped.  Is he really saying that the Coens intended for the viewer to focus on the tacky linoleum rather than the brutal murder on top of it?  Kehr's cynicism is clearly not facile.     

And why is he bringing Errol Morris into this?  Apparently Kehr prefers to ignore the fact that "hicks" do exist.  While hicks may not be fed by the same food as Kehr, I think they would laugh when tickled and bleed when pricked just as Kehr does.  One would think that someone with a vocabulary that includes the word Weltanschauung should know this.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on December 31, 2007, 10:22:28 AM
Is he really saying that the Coens intended for the viewer to focus on the tacky linoleum rather than the brutal murder on top of it?     

No.


And why is he bringing Errol Morris into this?  Apparently Kehr prefers to ignore the fact that "hicks" do exist.  While hicks may not be fed by the same food as Kehr, I think they would laugh when tickled and bleed when pricked just as Kehr does.  One would think that someone with a vocabulary that includes the word Weltanschauung should know this.

Without knowing Kehr's writing, the implication in that sentence is that he believes both the Coens and Morris use hicks in a problematic way - I suspect he brought Morris in because of this.  As people often do, this is merely a reference to other films and film-makers containing more information about Kehr's thoughts on hicks in film.  Clearly he does not believe that hicks do not exist.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: philip918 on December 31, 2007, 11:55:32 AM
That entire article is pretty ridiculous.  I'm really looking forward to There Will Be Blood, but the other three films he mentions - Michael Clayton, Beowulf and Sweeny Todd were three of the most disappointing films of the year, so I'd have to say my tastes are quite different from his.
Seriously, condescension via linoleum?  Come on.

Yeah, I also really liked everything he wrote.  I thought his example of Jones' Sheriff "laughing it off" pretty much says it all.

Um, it at least appears that you were responding to my post and you couldn't be farther off in interpreting that as praise for Kehr's article.  It's either that or a sleazy rhetorical trick to make it appear that at least one person agrees with your take on the article.  That's the first of Kehr's writing that I've read and have to say he comes off as a pompous windbag.  His condescending and defensive replies to people who commented on his review on his site don't help this impression.

skjerva, from reading your plethora of posts on the boards I've come to feel that you're contrarian simply for the sake of arguing.  Your pseudo-intellectual rants have become quite tedious and bothersome and I would appreciate it if you put a little more thought into your writings before posting them.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on December 31, 2007, 01:32:07 PM
It wasn't so much a "sleazy rhetorical trick" as a non-sleazy rhetorical trick of performing the talking past other people instead of to them.  I guess I was feeling like folks were not carefully reading stuff I wrote and attributing strange positions to what I had written.  It apparently worked as you became wrankled to the point of name-calling - not that I tried to get you pissed but I got your attention regarding talking past one another and mis-reading :)

On that point, I gotta say your calling kerh a "pompous windbag" and trying out various slurs on me is less than pleasant.  I'm not sure how to respond to your claim that I don't put thought into what I write, I think I usually do - perhaps you could let me know how my posts should look ;)

Oh, and on being contrarian, I guess I have that in me, though it is more about taking the side of the underdog.  In the case of No Country, Juno, or other films I don't like, that is not about being contrarian, I simply don't think they are all they are cracked up to be.  I suspect going against the tide with majority film opinion comes across as contrarian, but is more about wanting to insert a different perspective on a film that seemingly is getting only love.  I am probably less likely to be visibly critical of a film like Spider Man 3 that is more universally disliked; and for a universally loved film like Bourne, I'm not going to manufacture dislike when I actually like it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on December 31, 2007, 02:40:34 PM
That's the first of Kehr's writing that I've read and have to say he comes off as a pompous windbag.  His condescending and defensive replies to people who commented on his review on his site don't help this impression.

Kehr's a very good critic, and certainly worth reading, even when he is being pompous and condescending.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 03, 2008, 01:33:30 AM
I finally got around to writing almost-a-response (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/) to Kehr and others' attacks on the Coens.

I was trying to write about how I didn't want to deal with it any more, but that kind of got away from me.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on January 03, 2008, 01:44:33 AM
I finally got around to writing almost-a-response (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/) to Kehr and others' attacks on the Coens.

I was trying to write about how I didn't want to deal with it any more, but that kind of got away from me.

I am just starting it and there is a typo, nt sure if you care :):

Quote
is trying to get a much of folks together
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 03, 2008, 02:01:05 AM
Sigh.  I'm sure there are many more.

I think I got most of them.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: skjerva on January 03, 2008, 02:53:21 AM
Sigh.  I'm sure there are many more.

I think I got most of them.

I'm not sure if you care or not, I just wanted to mention it in case you do :)

I think you raise an interesting point about what you are calling the Coens' populism, comparing their body of work to Dylan's The Basement Tapes, this seemingly as a counterpoint to the Coens' work being vacuous or heavily surface (I know you name this populism against claims of condescension, but I think this gets to both matters).

Your near-defeated exclamation is true:

Quote
I've reached the point where I think the whole thing comes down to subjective emotional responses, extraneous baggage that we all bring to the films we watch and which can't help but color our impressions of them.

except that it ellides that why we have these debates is in hope of going into our next film with a slightly different set of baggage than we might otherwise have (or slightly adjusting the baggage of others); I think your post implies this in that you do continue to make an argument.

I think there is much more to address, and I keep monkey-punching the keys and deleting as I go, perhaps I can add something else to the discussion tomorrow:)  Maybe I'll try to make time to read some of the discussion in a film by (I haven't been reading there lately).
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 03, 2008, 03:25:14 AM
I hate typos as much as the next guy.  But my terrible tying skills, plus the fact that I never really learned to reread what I write makes them commonplace on my site.  I correct them when I notice, but they always make me sad.

I don't know that the Coens are necessarily interested in something more than the surface.  Or at least, I think they really like surfaces of all kinds and I don't think that's necessarily wrong.  They're more playful than thoughtful.

If they do have a deeper level, I'm pretty sure it isn't an idea about the world, but rather an idea about cinema and/or narrative in general.  No Country is the story of how Tommy Lee Jones learns to cope with the story of Moss and Chigurh, and how we all deal with (or don't deal with) stories of senseless violence.  Miller's Crossing is more about film noir and gangster narratives than it is about any "real world" subject.  This is, I guess, the modern/post-modern distinction.

Ultimately, I think we have these debates (battles between incompatible subjectivities, not one's in which we learn something we didn't already know like, say, an interpretation of 2001 that makes you say "aha! Now I understand the brilliance of that film!") for ourselves and ourselves alone.  We read film criticism to better understand our own responses to film in the light of how other people responded.  Whether we agree or not, there is still value in the discussion in that it helps us to better clarify and formalize what we already believe.  However, at some point the argument reaches its irreducible core, which is that no two people can ever look at the same thing the exact same way.  There's no way to reconcile Dave Kehr's opinion of the Coens and mine.  Neither of us can be "right" or "wrong". 

I think this particular debate over No Country has reached that point.  It certainly helps when he starts from a position of mind-reading the Coens's opinions of their characters and audience.  How can that possibly be proved or disproved?

Funny that in writing about how I didn't want to think about this subject anymore, I've ended up writing more than I've written about anything in months.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ian on January 03, 2008, 09:02:51 PM
I just watched this movie for the first time yesterday (it only open a few weeks ago in Australia).

The understanding I developed while watching it was that the body in the hotel room was the mother-in-law.

They never explicity say who the dead body is, all you see is the wife crying, and shortly before that the mother-in-law giving away her location to the Mexicans, and then some time later the funeral of the mother-in-law. Also, Chigurh is still waiting in the room when the Sheriff arrives some time later, which I took to mean he was still waiting for Moss. The Mexicans tricked the mother in law in to leading them to her hotel, killed her, and laid in wait for Moss. Chigurh showed up, killed the Mexicans (the blown lock) and did the same thing (laid in wait for Moss).

I thought Moss was still alive until Chigurh killed his wife. I thought that *implied* that he must be dead somehow or he would have saved her, and the movie was neatly wrapped up for me. But then there was the car crash, which I thought might have been Moss trying to kill him, and the fact that the other driver never moves means that Moss was killed then, in the crash (i.e. he miscalculated). Either way I don't think Moss lived, but I don't think he was killed in the hotel room either.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: philip918 on January 04, 2008, 12:46:58 AM
The body is without a doubt Moss on the motel floor and on the table in the morgue.  The Mexicans killed him.  The mother died of cancer.  Chigur killed everyone else.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ian on January 04, 2008, 05:31:46 AM
"The body is without a doubt Moss on the motel floor and on the table in the morgue."

I saw that Adam posted that too, but I don't know why everyone is so sure. Unless they read it in the book.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Rene A. Moncivais on January 04, 2008, 07:35:20 AM
You can specifically see that it is Moss.  I could tell when I saw the body.  That's what she said.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ElectricOtter on January 04, 2008, 02:31:52 PM
I actually didn't catch that the first time I saw the movie either, and was confused for much of the ending because of it. The second time I saw it, it's definitely Llewelyn.

My only real gripes with the movie come from the ending. It's not bad, persay, but it's anti-climactic and not in keeping with the rest of the movie in my opinion.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on January 08, 2008, 06:03:54 PM
I saw this yesterday, so glad I did.  As far the ending, I felt like the quick cut to black was there to spare us seeing TLJ ride off into the sunset, the obvious "real" ending of the movie.  (Not that I mind seeing TLJ on horseback...thrilling!)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Moviebuff28 on January 11, 2008, 02:20:02 AM
http://www.nocountryforoldmen.com/podcast/
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Moviebuff28 on January 11, 2008, 02:29:34 AM
I actually think Kelly Macdonald managed to do a very tough thing in the movie.  She actually stole the final scene from Javier Bardem who gives the supporting performance of the year.  I actually think that Carla Jean and the Landlord are the only two people who actually defeat Anton Chigurh because they both stand up to him and don't run or hide.  This movie is about so much more than what a stun gun can do or just a serial killer movie.  In fact Chigurh is even a serial killer.  He is a hired gun who is dedicated, in an evil way, at his job and is a man of principle.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on January 11, 2008, 02:34:06 AM
I don't think Chigurh is a man of principle. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Moviebuff28 on January 11, 2008, 03:04:04 AM
I think he is but it isn't a good principle.  I can see what you are saying because of the horrible things he does but he keeps his promises.  He said he was going to kill Carla Jean and he kept did even though he didn't have to.  The fact he gave Moss his word and he followed through on it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on January 11, 2008, 03:06:31 AM
I can't even remember at this point:  Did Chigurh kill Moss?  Or was it an unrelated band of Mexicans?  Or were they working together?

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on January 11, 2008, 03:11:02 AM
I think he is but it isn't a good principle.  I can see what you are saying because of the horrible things he does but he keeps his promises.  He said he was going to kill Carla Jean and he kept did even though he didn't have to.  The fact he gave Moss his word and he followed through on it.

Ok, then I'll accept "a man of his word", but I will not accept a "man of principle". 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 11, 2008, 03:13:58 AM
I think he is but it isn't a good principle.  I can see what you are saying because of the horrible things he does but he keeps his promises.  He said he was going to kill Carla Jean and he kept did even though he didn't have to.  The fact he gave Moss his word and he followed through on it.

Was it here that I read the theory that Chigurh violated his own principles by killing Carla Jean (she didn't call heads or tails and he killed her anyway), and that's why he got hit by the car?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on January 11, 2008, 03:20:43 AM
I think he is but it isn't a good principle.  I can see what you are saying because of the horrible things he does but he keeps his promises.  He said he was going to kill Carla Jean and he kept did even though he didn't have to.  The fact he gave Moss his word and he followed through on it.

Was it here that I read the theory that Chigurh violated his own principles by killing Carla Jean (she didn't call heads or tails and he killed her anyway), and that's why he got hit by the car?

Well, that's just silly.  The only sort of true retribution is Divine Retribution and if God got hold of Chigurh He wouldn't stop at a car accident.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 11, 2008, 03:32:00 AM
Nobody's perfect.   ;)

What do you think the car accident is all about?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: wilson1290 on January 11, 2008, 03:56:18 AM
Nobody's perfect.   ;)

What do you think the car accident is all about?

again I think it reiterates the whole point that whatever comes is coming and theres nothing you can do to stop it. And I would have to agree that Chigurh is a man of principle, he does what he asks to do, never for a second did I think he wanted the money for himself, which is not to say that he's a decent human being but he does have morals...albeit extremely bloody and violent morals. I was wondering if anyone here has read Flannery O'Connor's short story A Good Man Is Hard To Find because the final confrontation between Lewellyn's wife and Chigurh reminded me a lot of the confrontation between the serial killer and the old woman in this story and I remember Cormac McCarthy a while back when he wrote No Country stating that he felt his material shared a connection to O'Connor's work. If thats the case then Chigurh is way more then the average serial killer, in O'Connor's story the serial killer represents the abscence of God in the modern world, and the suffering that people will be forced to go through until the accept god back into their lives, and seeing No Contry gave me the same vibe. If you notice the people who dont die are the good Christians, the man who took over his father-in-laws business even if it meant living in the middle of nowhere, the landlady that protected her clients with a mother's love, the lawyer just doing his job, and finally the sheriff who managed to maintain compassion when the rest of the world has gone to shit. Yes the one character that defies this is Lewellyn's wife who didnt do anything wrong and still dies but lets not forget she abandoned her husband, something a good christian wife does not do. Now maybe im reading to much into this and I doubt either McCarthy or the Coens are making a statement for us all to start going to church more often but all im saying is maybe the film is indeed deeper then most people are giving it credit for
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 11, 2008, 04:03:27 AM
That doesn't really address the question of the coin flip though.  There's something important about her refusing to call heads or tails and the fact that the accident immediately follows it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on January 11, 2008, 04:25:12 AM
That doesn't really address the question of the coin flip though.  There's something important about her refusing to call heads or tails and the fact that the accident immediately follows it.

When I experienced the car crash in the film, I thought it meant "no matter how much you scheme or dream or command or demand or manipulate or play by the rules or otherwise live your rational life", SHIT HAPPENS.  I didn't connect the coin flip with the accident though now I'm wondering about that aspect too.  Maybe the car crash shows how quickly someone in control can lose all control.  And that finally, it's all in the hands of the gods.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on January 11, 2008, 09:34:36 AM
I can't even remember at this point:  Did Chigurh kill Moss?  Or was it an unrelated band of Mexicans?  Or were they working together?

Can anyone refresh my memory about this?

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 11, 2008, 11:51:41 AM
It's unclear, but I believe the consensus is that it was a group of Mexicans who killed him but couldn't find the money, so Chigurh got it after they all left.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on January 11, 2008, 12:45:10 PM
It's unclear, but I believe the consensus is that it was a group of Mexicans who killed him but couldn't find the money, so Chigurh got it after they all left.

If it's not Chigurh that kills Moss, does that complicate the idea that Chigurh is a man who always does what he says he's going to do?  Or does he not ever specifically state that he intends to kill him?

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 11, 2008, 12:49:24 PM
I'm pretty sure he says it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ryanwtyler on January 11, 2008, 12:59:27 PM
It's unclear, but I believe the consensus is that it was a group of Mexicans who killed him but couldn't find the money, so Chigurh got it after they all left.

If it's not Chigurh that kills Moss, does that complicate the idea that Chigurh is a man who always does what he says he's going to do?  Or does he not ever specifically state that he intends to kill him?

pixote
its not like he didn't follow through.  its just that the mexicans got to him first.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: billy brown on January 13, 2008, 03:27:07 AM
I knew the mass audience would hate the ending of the movie.  There was some people complaining about that when they left my theater too.  To me the ending pretty much sums up the title of the movie and book. 

Exactly, the ending reminds us of the title of the film 'No country for old men', tommy lee jones being one of those old men.

Just put put a few things out there.

1, Moss IS dead
2, the scene when Bell goes back to the motel room, there are two room sealed off by the police, maybe Chigurh is in the room next door? Is not in the room that Bell enters.
3, I love the coin flip scenes because the flip is on Chigurhs TERMS. Chigurh doesnt other any terms, it doesnt matter if she says heads of tails, she is going to die.
4. just a little one but i loved the scene at the end when Chigurh asks for the boys shirt and how it's a reflection of an earlier scene with Moss asking for the boys shirt.

Here is the screenplay if anybody wants to check it out.   
http://www.youknow-forkids.com/nocountryforoldmen.txt
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Moviebuff28 on January 13, 2008, 05:54:46 AM
the final coin toss wasn't in the script.  i wonder if macdonald and bardem improvised it or if the coens came up with it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ryanwtyler on January 13, 2008, 09:28:55 AM
coens.  they wrote the grunts, no joke.  no improvisation
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: JAGII on January 24, 2008, 11:08:11 AM
Nobody's perfect.   ;)

What do you think the car accident is all about?

again I think it reiterates the whole point that whatever comes is coming and theres nothing you can do to stop it. And I would have to agree that Chigurh is a man of principle, he does what he asks to do, never for a second did I think he wanted the money for himself, which is not to say that he's a decent human being but he does have morals...albeit extremely bloody and violent morals. I was wondering if anyone here has read Flannery O'Connor's short story A Good Man Is Hard To Find because the final confrontation between Lewellyn's wife and Chigurh reminded me a lot of the confrontation between the serial killer and the old woman in this story and I remember Cormac McCarthy a while back when he wrote No Country stating that he felt his material shared a connection to O'Connor's work. If thats the case then Chigurh is way more then the average serial killer, in O'Connor's story the serial killer represents the abscence of God in the modern world, and the suffering that people will be forced to go through until the accept god back into their lives, and seeing No Contry gave me the same vibe. If you notice the people who dont die are the good Christians, the man who took over his father-in-laws business even if it meant living in the middle of nowhere, the landlady that protected her clients with a mother's love, the lawyer just doing his job, and finally the sheriff who managed to maintain compassion when the rest of the world has gone to shit. Yes the one character that defies this is Lewellyn's wife who didnt do anything wrong and still dies but lets not forget she abandoned her husband, something a good christian wife does not do. Now maybe im reading to much into this and I doubt either McCarthy or the Coens are making a statement for us all to start going to church more often but all im saying is maybe the film is indeed deeper then most people are giving it credit for

I know I'm pretty late to the game here, but I just saw the movie last night and this comment seemed like a good place to chime in.

Although I come to some pretty different conclusions, I really like your reading here; and I think you're right on bringing in O'Conner.

Like you said, the point of the film is "You can't stop what's coming."  The question posed by the film is, "who or what sent what's coming?" Like most people I agree that the film offers two answers: no one sent it and everything is random chance, or God or a higher power controls the world and causes things to happen for a reason.  Most people align Jones' Sheriff Bell with the God side and Anton Chigurh with the chance side, and I think the characters see themselves that way at the start of the film.  However, at the end of the movie they realize they live according to the opposite.  Bell has realized that he has no understanding of the world and God never stepped in to give it meaning or order; its all chaos.  Chigurh has believed in order throughout the movie, but he covers it up with his flimsy chance games.  He never holds himself culpable for what happens; he is just following the paths before him and doing what must be done.  In the same way the quarter traveled 22 years to that Texas store, Chigurh moves with impersonal purpose.  I'm not certain that he comes to realize that his coin flips are never about chance, but the confrontation with Carla Jean certainly calls it into focus-- both with her recognition that the coin toss doesn't matter and that he doesn't have to do it. 

To go back to the question that prompted your response, the car accident can be read according to each perspective.  Either it was planned, the car had been traveling for X amount of years to get to that intersection with Chigurh's car, or it was completely random.  The film doesn't tell us the reason, which is one of its more brilliant aspects.  There are all sorts of holes, most of them have been mentioned in this thread-- who killed Moss? was Chigurh in the hotel?  did Chigurh kill Carla Jean or the lawyer?-- and these holes put us in the position of Bell/Chigurh:  are they random acts of violence or are they part of a coherent story?  Like the God Bell looks for, the Coens (and McCarthy) step back and stay silent, and we must decide if its order or chaos.

This silent God aspect is why I would question your pro-Christian reading.  If God exists in the world of No Country, then He is either the negligent God of Stephen Crane or the hateful God of Baudelaire.  He may be the God of Flannery O'Conner, but I would position her someplace between Crane and Baudelaire, despite her Catholicism.  Either way, Bell's American/Texan Christianity certainly doesn't earn him any peace, and Chigurh's determinism makes him a soulless monster.  Neither perspective is a ringing endorsement for God.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on January 26, 2008, 10:18:14 PM
Ultimately there are no moral consequences in the film. The badguy gets away with a horrible crime and the sheriff is left dazed at the state of the world. There no longer is a place for morals in the world or the old men who carry those morals. Hence the title No Country for Old Men.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 27, 2008, 01:39:08 AM
There no longer is a place for morals in the world or the old men who carry those morals. Hence the title No Country for Old Men.

That means there used to be such a place, which I think the film denies.  Evil has always been around, we (and old men) have to find some way to deal with it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on January 27, 2008, 09:42:35 AM
There no longer is a place for morals in the world or the old men who carry those morals. Hence the title No Country for Old Men.

That means there used to be such a place, which I think the film denies.  Evil has always been around, we (and old men) have to find some way to deal with it.
Good point. I semi agree with that. I that that it's showing that society has outgrown its need for morals that it once needed. Society no longer needs the Tommy Lee Jones character that once was helpful to society.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on January 27, 2008, 02:41:20 PM
The film never says that society once was moral and is now fallen.  Jones's character thinks that in the beginning and the movie is about his realization that that just isn't true.

The older guy's story at the end is all about how crazy evil stuff has always been happening and people like Jones have never been able to stop it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on February 19, 2008, 08:04:56 PM
DVD is coming in 3 weeks! Doesn't seem to have a whole lot of extras, though.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Kevin Shields on February 19, 2008, 10:53:07 PM
What...?  boo!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Scalzo on February 23, 2008, 10:54:51 PM
Just got back from seeing this again.  I'm confused.  I saw this a couple months ago, and I don't remember ever seeing Moss's body outside of the morgue scene (even then you don't see 'him').  Tommy Lee Jones just arrives and comes up to the door.  Next is Carla Jean driving up.

But when I saw it tonight, I got two shots of Moss dead on the floor right after the Mexicans peel out of the hotel lot.  Jones lookin down, cut to Moss's body, back to Jones, and back to Moss. 

Am I just mis-remembering this scene?  Or has it been tweaked?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: philip918 on February 23, 2008, 11:01:35 PM
You just mis-remembered it.  Moss's body was definitely shown in a couple shots after the Mexicans killed him.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 24, 2008, 02:20:12 AM
Bell and Chigurh are polar opposites in this film - both principled (meaning an expectation of an orderly world) and both vexed by the actions of Moss. One (Bell) wants to help him and bring him to safety and one (Chigurh) wants to kill him.
It's Moss's actions that truly defy explanation here - why is he taking the money?
Why does he knowingly risk the lives of those closest to him?
He must surely know (and even says so at one point) that kind of money is worth killing for.

Chigurh is no grim reaper - otherwise we would have been treated to the grisly scene of him treating his own leg. That scene alone cancels any sort of grand metaphysical meaning for his character. He is a man, trying to fix a problem (lost money) and his world seems to be unraveling. Moss is giving him the slip, he gets shot - according to Harrelson's character - this is all unusual so Chigurh must be feeling the same sort of frustration with the world that Bell is. it's just not worth exploring because we could never possibly identify with his moral compass (or lack of one).

Bell, on the other hand, offers safety and solace to Moss and/or his wife. He has seen so much senseless killing and violence in his time that he has lost his faith in the world and humanity. He has become a repository brimming with cynicism but yet he still reaches out to Moss through his wife and tries to help. He offers only safety and no repercussions but yet (against all common sense) his actions are rebuked. In the end all he can do is take comfort in knowing that he tried to do the right thing, out there in that dark, cold wilderness.

To me - the money was a maguffin - Moss was the god damned raison d'etre for this film.
His choices were flawed - he had to have known that strings would be attached to taking that cash.
He must have known that it would put at least his wife in danger as well as him - he could have sent her anywhere to wait it out but he sent her to someplace that would be easy for someone to track her down. He might have even been able to exit the situation with the help of Harrelson's character  and still possibly keep some of the money but his greed (and questionable moral compass) got the better of him and he wanted it all. It got him killed as well as his wife. We want to see him as good and just, especially compared to Chigurh who is hunting him but it's just not so - he was greedy and not overly concerned with his wife's welfare or his mother-in-law's. If you remember, he told his wife to leave her behind, that no one would bother her. I don't honestly thing he believed that.

  These are all just thoughts as I am reflecting back on this film while I read this thread...
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: gateway on February 24, 2008, 03:50:43 PM
I felt the injuries Chigurh sustained in the movie were just yet another part of the Grim Reaper metaphor: you can delay death, you can hit back at at and try to stop it, but soon enough death will get right back up and come after you, and when it's done death will just move on to the next victim. I think Harrelson's comment goes along with that well, in that the surprise he showed seemed akin to a person finding out somebody cheated certain death.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Basil on February 24, 2008, 03:55:35 PM
Ugh, metaphors.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 24, 2008, 08:56:52 PM
Ugh, metaphors.
If you're looking for metaphors in this movie you probably missed the point of the film. I'm notorious for over thinking films and even I didn't look for metaphors in this film.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on February 24, 2008, 08:57:52 PM
If you're looking for metaphors in this movie you probably missed the point of the film. I'm notorious for over thinking films and even I didn't look for metaphors in this film.

So do you take the title literally?

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ekename on February 26, 2008, 12:27:07 AM
Really good flick.  Lots to think about.

Favorite scenes:

1. The strangulation of the deputy at the beginning.  Absolutely chilling with the deputy on talking on the phone, camera is sharply focused on him, and you see Chigurh stand up in the background and step over the handcuffs. YIKES!

2. Moss returning to the desert massacre at night and looking back to see the second truck on the ridge.  DOUBLE YIKES!!

3. Moss jumping in the Rio Grande to evade pursuit and the put bull swimming after him.  Then him trying to reload with dry cartridges as the dog bears down on him.

4. Moss sitting on his bed in the hotel in Eagle Pass after calling down to the clerk and hearing the hotel creaking at Chigurh comes up the stairs.

4. Finally, Chigurh's car getting nailed and the kid saying "Look at that f***ing bone!" after the unrelenting tension of the last 45 mins or so I started laughing and got some ugly looks from people in the theatre.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on February 26, 2008, 12:31:35 AM
If you're looking for metaphors in this movie you probably missed the point of the film. I'm notorious for over thinking films and even I didn't look for metaphors in this film.

So do you take the title literally?

pixote

How do you take it?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 26, 2008, 06:36:52 PM
If you're looking for metaphors in this movie you probably missed the point of the film. I'm notorious for over thinking films and even I didn't look for metaphors in this film.

So do you take the title literally?

pixote
Yes. ;D The whole point of the film is that there is no longer any place for old men because of the morals they hold in an immoral universe.  But once you try painting Chigurh as a metaphor for death I think you missed the point. He's a crazy killer who knows his craft well and those moments are there to portray the fact that despite his cool demeanor he's still very human.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: samfuller on February 26, 2008, 09:38:47 PM
Since when were "old men" more moral than people today? Anyone with any historical sense know this is false, and the Coen brothers undercut this, especially with the scene with Bell and the old man he visits (an exchange not in the novel).

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on February 26, 2008, 09:44:32 PM
Since when were "old men" more moral than people today? Anyone with any historical sense know this is false, and the Coen brothers undercut this, especially with the scene with Bell and the old man he visits (an exchange not in the novel).



Earlier in this thread, that issue of relative morals was addressed, particularly by sdedalus.  The Coens told the story from a different viewpoint than Cormac McCarthy's book was written.  Bell was the focus of the novel, but only one part of the film's narrative.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 26, 2008, 09:48:25 PM
I still say that Moss was the barometer of morality for the Coens...

The issue was murky to most viewers because we are comparing him to the man who is hunting him (Chigurh). The fact is that neither man is "moral" and I think that's the point of the name - Bell doesn't know who the "good guys" are in this case (really - there aren't any)...it's time to leave when he can't see that.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on February 26, 2008, 10:02:56 PM
I still say that Moss was the barometer of morality for the Coens...

The issue was murky to most viewers because we are comparing him to the man who is hunting him (Chigurh). The fact is that neither man is "moral" and I think that's the point of the name - Bell doesn't know who the "good guys" are in this case (really - there aren't any)...it's time to leave when he can't see that.

Morality aside, it seems to me that what frustrates Bell is that he can't think like Moss or Chigurh so he's always behind the game, doing mop-up instead of being the law enforcement man he once was himself as.  This is maybe clearer in the book than in the film.  That's why I said earlier that I was glad the film ended with the black screen because the only other logical ending would have been Bell riding into the sunset.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 26, 2008, 11:01:40 PM
I think we are saying the same thing..
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: sdedalus on February 26, 2008, 11:07:14 PM
Since when were "old men" more moral than people today? Anyone with any historical sense know this is false, and the Coen brothers undercut this, especially with the scene with Bell and the old man he visits (an exchange not in the novel).



Earlier in this thread, that issue of relative morals was addressed, particularly by sdedalus.  The Coens told the story from a different viewpoint than Cormac McCarthy's book was written.  Bell was the focus of the novel, but only one part of the film's narrative.

Yeah, I was just going to say that that's what I've been saying.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on February 26, 2008, 11:19:09 PM
I think we are saying the same thing..

Oh, we are!  I was only re-enforcing your point, without getting into the morality issues.  sdedalus had already addressed that adequately.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: m_rturnage on February 28, 2008, 10:02:55 AM
Read this. Thought it was funny.

Bob Gale (screenwriter of Back to the Future) explains why No Country Makes No Sense.

http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2008/02/no-country-for-real-logic.html
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: philip918 on February 28, 2008, 10:49:51 AM
The guy (great as Back to the Future is) is an idiot, frankly.
He makes completely unrealistic demands of the characters.  Moss is not Marty Mcfly.  The whole point is that he's a not-so-bright guy who sees a chance to get some money and takes it, then makes a lot of mistakes on the way.
The Mexican gang kills Moss at the motel, his mother-in-law dies from cancer, and of course Chigur kills Luanne at the end, hadn't we seen enough blood and boots before to know that's why Chigur is checking the soles of his boots on the porch?
I could keep going down the list, but it's really not worth my time.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 28, 2008, 11:10:14 AM
I wouldn't say that Moss is not-so-bright, not at all. His actions in the first hotel seem to bear this out. He knew people would be hunting him and he seemed to be on top of his game at all times. He did find the tracking device, he knew when his room was staked out and he had put the money in such a place that he could recover it if that happened.

No - Moss's failing, his sin so to speak was greed - pure and simple.

I think it's significant that both Moss and Chigurh offer bystanders money when they are injured for their shirt/jacket - for them money is the reason for putting yourself in danger, it's a reason to kill and it's what will get you out of danger in a tight spot. For them - greed should be a driving force in all of us.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: alexarch on February 28, 2008, 11:15:42 AM
I've seen it twice, and both times I missed a key bit of dialogue.  Someone please help me out.

During the scene with Brolin's wife, Bardem is telling her to call it.  She refuses.  "You're going to kill me anyway.  I'm not going to call it."  Again he tells her to call it, and again she refuses.  Then, before the scene ends, Bardem says something that I couldn't make out.  It's the last line of the scene, and because of that, it is key to my understanding of the scene.

I'm almost positive that it's not another demand for her to call it.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: karlwinslow on February 28, 2008, 11:39:40 AM
i think she says something like "a coin can't decide, only you can" or something like that

then he says "just call it"

i think.  don't hold me too it.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on February 28, 2008, 11:43:58 AM
In the script, the scene ends with Chigurh saying, "I got here the same way the coin did."

Quote
                    CHIGURH
          This is the best I can do. . .

He digs in his pocket for a coin.

                    CHIGURH (CONT'D)
          . . . Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          I knowed you was crazy when I saw you
          settin there. I knowed exactly what
          was in store for me.

                    CHIGURH
          Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          No. I ain't gonna call it.

                    CHIGURH
          Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          The coin don't have no say. It's just
          you.

                    CHIGURH
          I got here the same way the coin did.

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: alexarch on February 28, 2008, 11:48:27 AM
Thanks, pixote.  Now I'll have to wrap my brain around it for a bit.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: karlwinslow on February 28, 2008, 11:50:02 AM
i think she says something like "a coin can't decide, only you can" or something like that

then he says "just call it"

i think.  don't hold me too it.

what a dumbass.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: m_rturnage on February 28, 2008, 12:03:24 PM
Strange. I remembered it this way.


Quote
                    CHIGURH
          This is the best I can do. . .

He digs in his pocket for a coin.

                    CHIGURH (CONT'D)
          . . . Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          I knowed you was crazy when I saw you
          settin there. I knowed exactly what
          was in store for me.

                    CHIGURH
          Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          No. I ain't gonna call it.

                    CHIGURH
          Call it.

                    CARLA JEAN
          The coin don't have no say. It's just
          you.

                    CHIGURH
          I am your father, Carla Jean. Turn to
          the dark side and we will rule Texas as
          father and daughter.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 28, 2008, 12:05:49 PM
Didn't she lose her hand right after that?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: alexarch on February 28, 2008, 12:13:06 PM
If the lowest form of comedy is a pun, then the second lowest form of comedy is a Star Wars reference.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: alexarch on February 28, 2008, 12:14:28 PM
Except for that Admiral Ackbar thing.  That's hilarious.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: m_rturnage on February 28, 2008, 12:43:15 PM
If the lowest form of comedy is a pun, then the second lowest form of comedy is a Star Wars reference.

Have I ever said I was a proud person?

If I have truly offended you, please let me make it up to you with a plate of milk and Wookies.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 28, 2008, 01:04:54 PM
Obi a dear and get him some.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: m_rturnage on February 28, 2008, 01:09:28 PM
Ewok'ed right up to me and ordered a hot cup of jawa.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on February 28, 2008, 01:10:26 PM
It's the last line of the scene, and because of that, it is key to my understanding of the scene.

So does that change how you read the scene, alexarch?

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: St. Martin the Bald on February 28, 2008, 01:12:32 PM
Sometimes I smoke, then sometimes I chewbacca.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: alexarch on February 28, 2008, 01:16:33 PM
Actually it helps me understand what Chigaramadingdong thinks of himself.  It ties in the earlier coin flip scene where he warns the convenience store clerk not to just put the coin in his pocket.  He goes through a long explanation about how the coin traveled for 22 years to be at that moment and at that place.  He says, "If you put it in your pocket, then it just becomes another coin."  Then he smiles and says, "Which it is."

In other words, he sees himself as just a thing that travels currents with no real self-propelled movement.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Drew on April 12, 2008, 11:04:07 PM
Talk about late to the party, but my wife and I finally watched No Country tonight via netflix. As a long time listener, I knew that the filmspotting crew and boards were the places to go to help me understand the movie.

My one point, as pertaining to the discussion earlier in this thread about the possible references to the title, is this: the title is a direct quote from a poem by WB Yeats. "Sailing to Byzantium" is a famous poem, and one with a great deal of discussion and research. From my grad school study of Yeats (albeit a few years back!) I believe "Sailing" is about an old man ("An aged man is but a paltry thing, / A tattered coat upon a stick") coming to terms with his soul being "fastened to a dying animal" that "knows not what it is". Tommy Lee Jones is most definitely the main character, so I would assume that it is his character that McCarthy was referencing in the title of the book and therefore the movie. Check out Yeats' full poem--it's quite nice.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ses on April 12, 2008, 11:07:39 PM
Talk about late to the party, but my wife and I finally watched No Country tonight via netflix. As a long time listener, I knew that the filmspotting crew and boards were the places to go to help me understand the movie.

My one point, as pertaining to the discussion earlier in this thread about the possible references to the title, is this: the title is a direct quote from a poem by WB Yeats. "Sailing to Byzantium" is a famous poem, and one with a great deal of discussion and research. From my grad school study of Yeats (albeit a few years back!) I believe "Sailing" is about an old man ("An aged man is but a paltry thing, / A tattered coat upon a stick") coming to terms with his soul being "fastened to a dying animal" that "knows not what it is". Tommy Lee Jones is most definitely the main character, so I would assume that it is his character that McCarthy was referencing in the title of the book and therefore the movie. Check out Yeats' full poem--it's quite nice.

Thanks Drew, welcome to the boards!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: JoshuaOst on April 16, 2008, 09:17:11 PM
Talk about late to the party, but my wife and I finally watched No Country tonight via netflix. As a long time listener, I knew that the filmspotting crew and boards were the places to go to help me understand the movie.

My one point, as pertaining to the discussion earlier in this thread about the possible references to the title, is this: the title is a direct quote from a poem by WB Yeats. "Sailing to Byzantium" is a famous poem, and one with a great deal of discussion and research. From my grad school study of Yeats (albeit a few years back!) I believe "Sailing" is about an old man ("An aged man is but a paltry thing, / A tattered coat upon a stick") coming to terms with his soul being "fastened to a dying animal" that "knows not what it is". Tommy Lee Jones is most definitely the main character, so I would assume that it is his character that McCarthy was referencing in the title of the book and therefore the movie. Check out Yeats' full poem--it's quite nice.

Yeats is one of my favorite poets.  Only second to T.S. Elliot.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: CHW on January 19, 2009, 03:10:36 AM
No Country didn't really live up to the hype for me.  It was weird, tense, and overall just kind of average.

Quote from: My Review
No Country for Old Men is kind of a strange exercise in minimalism.  Actors deliver their pithy lines with deadpan faces, music is used sparingly, and the plot is incidental, almost nonexistent.  The only thing unrestrained in this film is its violence, most of which is dispensed with brutal efficiency by Chigurh, an emotionless, psychopathic killer played by Javier Bardem.  He's the film's weirdest and most explosive ingredient, but he's only interesting until it becomes clear that there aren't actually any motives behind his actions.  All the characters in this film are kind of like that: impassive, single-minded, and frustratingly insufficient in their characterization.  Certain parts of No Country for Old Men works as a great thriller, with every burst of violence preceded by enormous moments of tension, but there are other parts, like the ambiguous, anti-climactic conclusion, that feels baffling and unsatisfying. (THREE out of five)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Variable on February 16, 2009, 07:24:23 PM
you don't see the motive behind brolin or jones' characters in this movie?

also, it seems like you're using "weird" and "tense" in a perjorative manner but I don't see either of those things as negative.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on February 16, 2009, 08:11:35 PM
you don't see the motive behind brolin or jones' characters in this movie?

also, it seems like you're using "weird" and "tense" in a perjorative manner but I don't see either of those things as negative.

I like you, and not just for your avatar.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Wilson on February 16, 2009, 08:35:19 PM
I'm afraid I just blue myself.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on March 31, 2009, 07:39:35 PM
I've enjoying catching up with the 12 pages of posts in this thread.  Anyone else new to the movie care to share their thoughts a full year and a half after the thread got started?

I finally watched this movie this past December.  I immediately rewound (well as much as you can rewind a DVD!) and watched it again.  The only other movie I've ever watched again back-toback was "My Kid Could Paint That".  The next day I went out and bought the novel and read it in a week.  At the end of the week I bought the DVD and watched it again.    So I guess you could say I really loved it.  Maybe not loved it so much as just mezmorized by it!

Earlier in this thread there was a short debate about whether or not old men are necessarily more moral.  I don't believe the novel or movie make that claim.  Certainly it says that old men THINK they're more moral.  (I'll readily admit right now that I'll feel that way when I'm 70!)  However there is a scene with the TLJ character and his uncle where the uncle talks about a shootout on the front porch of some cattle rustlers way back in the day.  So -- I different kind of lawlessness, but lawlessness nonetheless.  No doubt a purposeful rant.

What I take as the lesson from the movie - that admittedly I might not have gotten had I not read the novel -- is that , no matter how evil the world is and how powerless you may seem to be to combat it, you have to keep doing your part every day to keep fighting it in your sphere of influence and not be overwhelmed by it.  Even though the TLJ character obviously gives up the fight and retreats into his own world. 

Talking to people of my Dad's generation that is a constant conflict as you grow older.  As you get older you don't feel like you have that band of brothers around you anymore to take up arms against the injustices of the world.  And we'll all get to that point - whether your hot button issue is abortion, turn signals or whether or not the Coen Brothers movies have substance - at some point we'll feel alone in that fight and we have to make the choice whether or not to keep on fighting or just retreat into retirement.

That's my overthinking of it :)

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on March 31, 2009, 09:39:09 PM
I enjoyed your reading of the film, but I have to say that I don't think the TLJ's character was giving up as much as passing the mantle.  Maybe retirement isn't retreat or giving up or giving in for that matter.  Maybe it's recognition that it's time to move out of the way for whatever comes next.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on March 31, 2009, 10:32:32 PM
I enjoyed your reading of the film, but I have to say that I don't think the TLJ's character was giving up as much as passing the mantle.  Maybe retirement isn't retreat or giving up or giving in for that matter.  Maybe it's recognition that it's time to move out of the way for whatever comes next.



Thanks Saltine...I'll have to think about that.  It's nice talking to people about this theories because my wife just rolls her eyes at me and says "it's just a movie!".  In the end she's probably right and the Coens are just laughing at us!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on March 31, 2009, 10:53:18 PM
Around here, it's NEVER just a movie!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on March 31, 2009, 11:16:04 PM
Best movie ever (of 2007)!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: edgar00 on March 31, 2009, 11:22:52 PM
Best movie ever (of 2007)!

You disappoint me mr. hamster.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on March 31, 2009, 11:27:18 PM
Best movie ever (of 2007)!

You disappoint me mr. hamster.

What did you want me to say? There Will Be Blood? I'm sorry, but I didn't go see TWBB 5 times in the theatre like I did with No Country. Though by that standard The Dark Knight would be the best movie of 2008 and of all time. Then again, it might just be.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: bb6634 on April 09, 2009, 01:20:12 AM
frozenhamster, I gotta say, I LOVE your Back to the Future avatar!  Very nice!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: pixote on April 09, 2009, 02:13:34 AM
This movie would have been better backwards.

pixote
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 09, 2009, 02:39:38 AM
This movie would have been better backwards.

pixote

I agree. That way you get all the boring old dudes talking out of the way at the beginning, and it also isn't too disappointing when the seemingly lead character is killed off unceremoniously. ;)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 09, 2009, 08:42:31 AM
This movie would have been better backwards.

pixote

I agree. That way you get all the boring old dudes talking out of the way at the beginning, and it also isn't too disappointing when the seemingly lead character is killed off unceremoniously. ;)

...and it could have been renamed "No Country for Boring Old Dudes"  :)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 09, 2009, 08:49:02 AM
Speaking of the old dudes.  The debate earlier on this thread motivated me to go back to the novel and read just the sections in italics (Bell's internal monologues at the beginning of (almost) every chapter)

So I'm back to my theory about "it's bad now?  yeah?  well it's always been bad?"  the only thing that's really changed is you're old - how you gonna deal with it?

Has anyone read any of the other Cormac McCarthy novels?  This is one of three books about this area of the country from different time periods.  Just curious. 


Anyways I'm not usually so interested in the source material, but the movie is SO CLOSE - they took so few liberties!
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: verkisto ratsel on April 09, 2009, 11:45:25 AM
jeffstatt- I am a BIG Cormac McCarthy fan... I am more of a fan of his novels set in the Tennessee region [Suttree, Child of God, Outer Dark, The Road] as opposed to his "Border" novels [All the Pretty Horses, Cities on the Plain, The Crossing, Blood Meridian, No Country]. He has written a few plays as well. His most recent, The Sunset Limited, is really thought-provoking. Blood Meridian is considered by many to be one of the greatest American novels ever written and it is indeed a fascinating epic. It deserves an HBO mini-series treatment by the makers of Deadwood... It’s kinda funny- his stories like Child of God and Outer Dark could be excellent horror movies that would make the Saw movies look like after-school specials. Horrific stuff…

The Coen's No Country for Old Men was incredibly faithful to the novel with the exception of the Sheriff Bell ruminations that you mentioned which wouldn't translate to the screen in any satisfying way. Not only are those monologues a full 1/3 of the novel, but not having Bell's thoughts did change the tenor of the movie and shifts its narrative [and maybe even moral and thematic] center. I think the fact that they are largely absent from the film is part of what has led many viewers to feel so dissatisfied with the death of Moss and the conclusion of the movie. In the novel it is much more clear that Bell is the real main character and that the story is more about how he changes internally throughout the film... The real climax is the moment of truth when Bell is in the motel room with Chigurh and Bell refuses to face him. I don't think this is as clear in the movie as it is in the novel, but that is when Bell knows that he needs to quit...

It's interesting that NCfOM was originally written as a screenplay and McCarthy went back and added the Bell monologues...

I can't wait for The Road... as much as one cannot wait for a film about the apocalypse and cannibalism…
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 09, 2009, 12:24:26 PM
...It's interesting that NCfOM was originally written as a screenplay and McCarthy went back and added the Bell monologues...


THAT I did not know!

So where you pretty satisfied with the treatment of the the novel in the movie?  I suppose when you heard the Coen's were doing it that you worried it would end up pretty bastardized?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Clovis8 on April 09, 2009, 12:27:52 PM
...It's interesting that NCfOM was originally written as a screenplay and McCarthy went back and added the Bell monologues...


THAT I did not know!

So where you pretty satisfied with the treatment of the the novel in the movie?  I suppose when you heard the Coen's were doing it that you worried it would end up pretty bastardized?

How could someone not be satisfied? Its one the most faithful adaptations ever I think.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: verkisto ratsel on April 09, 2009, 01:54:49 PM
I think it is a great adaptation. Having really read/studied the novel well before the movie was made, it was crazy to see characters and scenes on the screen EXACTLY how I imagined them... Brolin was exactly the Moss I pictured in my mind's eye... Jones did some of the best acting of his career disappearing into the character of Sheriff Bell... everything from the trucks and the scenery seemed to come right out of my imagination so I was very very pleased...

The only part that was a little less than satisfying [and I think it is probably the most "Coen" touch on the adaptation] was Chigurh and that weird hairdo... at first I was totally like "wtf" but I think that it ultimately worked... but the oddest casting choice to me was Woody Harrelson... he seemed out of his depth IMO...
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 09, 2009, 02:16:39 PM
I think it is a great adaptation. Having really read/studied the novel well before the movie was made, it was crazy to see characters and scenes on the screen EXACTLY how I imagined them... Brolin was exactly the Moss I pictured in my mind's eye... Jones did some of the best acting of his career disappearing into the character of Sheriff Bell... everything from the trucks and the scenery seemed to come right out of my imagination so I was very very pleased...

The only part that was a little less than satisfying [and I think it is probably the most "Coen" touch on the adaptation] was Chigurh and that weird hairdo... at first I was totally like "wtf" but I think that it ultimately worked... but the oddest casting choice to me was Woody Harrelson... he seemed out of his depth IMO...

And certainly those "internal monologues" you weren't going to hear as voice overs in a Coen film!  I really like the way they dealt with that.  The monologs in the book read to me like a guy telling a campfire story, or musing to another guy over a beer or something - so NOT internal thoughts, but spoken words in which we're just not aware of the audience.  So having an audience (the deputy, a sherrif from another town, his wife) as a vehicle to avoid the voice over seems an especially valid way to handle it in the film.


"And God help you if you use voice over in your work!!"

(explicit language)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VseQe4TFsg# (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VseQe4TFsg#)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: 'Noke on April 19, 2009, 10:29:41 AM
I just watched this again, And loved this the second time. What really caught my eye was the way the coens cut at the same pace for each and every scene, whether it's just a conversation or Josh Brolin getting chased by a truck.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 19, 2009, 12:33:13 PM
I just watched this again, And loved this the second time. What really caught my eye was the way the coens cut at the same pace for each and every scene, whether it's just a conversation or Josh Brolin getting chased by a truck.

Yes, the editing style is fantastic.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 20, 2009, 07:56:35 AM
I just watched this again, And loved this the second time. What really caught my eye was the way the coens cut at the same pace for each and every scene, whether it's just a conversation or Josh Brolin getting chased by a truck.

Yes, the editing style is fantastic.

Plus the use of music (or lack thereof) in those scenes
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Marbe on April 28, 2009, 04:14:49 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: gateway on April 28, 2009, 06:45:25 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.


Just because Brolin got the more human character doesn't mean he did a better job. Bardem's character had one hell of a reputation to live up to - he is trumpeted as an unstoppable force of nature and the physical embodiment of doom. That's a lot to live up to, but he pulled it off perfectly. Menace and intimidation isn't something just anybody can pull off - especially while wearing a 70's bowl haircut.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Marbe on April 28, 2009, 07:43:38 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.


Just because Brolin got the more human character doesn't mean he did a better job. Bardem's character had one hell of a reputation to live up to - he is trumpeted as an unstoppable force of nature and the physical embodiment of doom. That's a lot to live up to, but he pulled it off perfectly. Menace and intimidation isn't something just anybody can pull off - especially while wearing a 70's bowl haircut.

I agree it was an excellent villain, but when you only have one side of a character to really pull off, and a weird bowl cut to do it (and let's be honest, that hair would not work against anyone to seem like a weirdo) I say not nearly as impressive as Brolin who was a morally ambiguous with code of honor.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 28, 2009, 07:47:37 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.


Just because Brolin got the more human character doesn't mean he did a better job. Bardem's character had one hell of a reputation to live up to - he is trumpeted as an unstoppable force of nature and the physical embodiment of doom. That's a lot to live up to, but he pulled it off perfectly. Menace and intimidation isn't something just anybody can pull off - especially while wearing a 70's bowl haircut.

I agree it was an excellent villain, but when you only have one side of a character to really pull off, and a weird bowl cut to do it (and let's be honest, that hair would not work against anyone to seem like a weirdo) I say not nearly as impressive as Brolin who was a morally ambiguous with code of honor.

Because I'm so awesome I'll just put this to rest. Bardem was incrediblerific and totally deserved all that recognition. Brolin was also quite fantstic, though not quite as good. What is true is that not nearly enough attention was paid to either his performance or Jones'. Hell, in my opinion even Woody Harrelson and Kelly Macdonald were underrated in that movie. Frankly I think the whole movie is already underrated as it is.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on April 28, 2009, 10:06:09 PM
Kelly Macdonald was fabulous. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: edgar00 on April 28, 2009, 10:11:47 PM
No Country for Old Men was underrated?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Marbe on April 28, 2009, 10:22:29 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.


Just because Brolin got the more human character doesn't mean he did a better job. Bardem's character had one hell of a reputation to live up to - he is trumpeted as an unstoppable force of nature and the physical embodiment of doom. That's a lot to live up to, but he pulled it off perfectly. Menace and intimidation isn't something just anybody can pull off - especially while wearing a 70's bowl haircut.

I agree it was an excellent villain, but when you only have one side of a character to really pull off, and a weird bowl cut to do it (and let's be honest, that hair would not work against anyone to seem like a weirdo) I say not nearly as impressive as Brolin who was a morally ambiguous with code of honor.

Because I'm so awesome I'll just put this to rest. Bardem was incrediblerific and totally deserved all that recognition. Brolin was also quite fantstic, though not quite as good. What is true is that not nearly enough attention was paid to either his performance or Jones'. Hell, in my opinion even Woody Harrelson and Kelly Macdonald were underrated in that movie. Frankly I think the whole movie is already underrated as it is.

 ::)

If you lived here I think you would understand the brilliance of Brolin's character.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FLYmeatwad on April 28, 2009, 10:48:12 PM
No Country for Old Men was underrated?

I was thinking the same thing.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 28, 2009, 10:52:47 PM
No Country for Old Men was underrated?

I was thinking the same thing.

In that as highly rated as it is it's actually way better.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: mañana on April 28, 2009, 10:56:05 PM
In that as highly rated as it is it's actually way better.

Why are you posting here when you have a Eyes Wide Shut vs. Trust verdict to write?
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 28, 2009, 10:57:18 PM
In that as highly rated as it is it's actually way better.

Why are you posting here when you have a Eyes Wide Shut vs. Trust verdict to write?

Because I'm incredibly lazy and don't have the heart to choose between them.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: mañana on April 28, 2009, 10:58:49 PM
I suspect the first part of that statement is the key.   ;)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: mañana on April 28, 2009, 11:24:27 PM
We need the Hamster Factor!  :)
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on April 28, 2009, 11:45:34 PM
We need the Hamster Factor!  :)

LOL
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: edgar00 on April 29, 2009, 12:55:15 AM
I don't think I've posted this in a while: I think No Country for Old Men is a slick little thriller.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: zarodinu on April 29, 2009, 05:01:27 PM
Bardem didn't deserve as much recognition as Brolin did. Brolin played a living breathing person, I know that guy, that guy went to school with my dad, I see that guy at the Legion every once and a while.

I agree with you, though Bardem was also impressive.  I particularly loved how Brolin did so much of his acting with body gestures and facial expressions.  I actually thought that the best character was Tommy Lee Johns as Sheriff Bell, I swear that role was written with him in mind.  I completely bought him as Bell, despite the fact that his role was severely chopped from the novel.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: saltine on April 29, 2009, 07:22:02 PM
Maybe because Tommy Lee Jones was reared in West Texas and spends a lot of time there, he "fit" the part.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: gateway on May 01, 2009, 12:05:50 AM

If you lived here I think you would understand the brilliance of Brolin's character.

I actually have an uncle who grew up in that area, and he sounds exactly like Josh Brolin in No Country. Not just the accent, he's got the exact same voice and delivery. If you close your eyes and just listen to him, the resemblance is uncanny.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on May 01, 2009, 10:04:50 AM

If you lived here I think you would understand the brilliance of Brolin's character.

I actually have an uncle who grew up in that area, and he sounds exactly like Josh Brolin in No Country. Not just the accent, he's got the exact same voice and delivery. If you close your eyes and just listen to him, the resemblance is uncanny.

I think I could listen to your uncle tell stories for hours.


I've spent a lot of time in rural West Texas and New Mexico with my job: Odessa, Ft Stockton, Arlington, Midland, etc.  I swear I've been to that exact gas station (the one with the coin flip)  I've really come to appreciate that area that I live in the Northwest.   Everything from the people, the towns, and even weather in this movie are spot-on what I know of that area.   So I don't know if the credit goes to Cormac Mccarthy for painting such great pictures in his novel, or the Coens for rendering them so accurately.

The credit that assuredly goes to the Coens is how the weather is portrayed.  Like this scene:

(http://www.swotti.com/tmp/swotti/cacheBM8GY291BNRYESBMB3IGB2XKIG1LBG==RW50ZXJ0YWLUBWVUDC1NB3ZPZXM=/imgNo%20country%20for%20old%20men2.jpg)

I don't know if they planned that scene around the weather or just got lucky that day of shooting, but either way it's stuff like this that elevates this film from very good to great.


Another great touch are the cattle guards and fences.  I always found it interesting that even out there in the middle of the scrub desert there would be this gate in front of the dirty road - still pretty important to folks were the property border was.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Variable on May 03, 2009, 04:11:52 PM
Coens do have a flair for local color, I'm certainly willing to give them the credit.

though I haven't read the novel  :(
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: masterofsparks on June 25, 2009, 12:26:06 PM
I agree with the folks who say that Tommy Lee Jones is the heart of the movie. The film (and novel) feels to me like it's about the nature of evil - the Bardem character as some kind of newer, deeper evil and Jones as the man who, as he ages, feels less and less able to comprehend evil itself. In that regard, Jones's character is clearly the film's center, and I think he give the film's best performance.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on June 25, 2009, 12:36:35 PM
I agree with the folks who say that Tommy Lee Jones is the heart of the movie. The film (and novel) feels to me like it's about the nature of evil - the Bardem character as some kind of newer, deeper evil and Jones as the man who, as he ages, feels less and less able to comprehend evil itself. In that regard, Jones's character is clearly the film's center, and I think he give the film's best performance.

Good to see this thread pop up again. 

I think you're right.  As much as I love the other two lead performances, you don't appreciate TLJ's performance until you start trying to think of someone else to put in that role...who else would have fit? 

But it's a credit to the directors that all the roles were so spot on.  I don't know if it's casting or direction or a combination of the two, but you rarely see a fish out of water in a Coen Bros joint.  I was thinking of Kelly Macdonald when I wrote this.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Holly Harry on June 25, 2009, 04:40:38 PM
I love the details of the movie so much. Notice a scene early on in the film when Josh Brolin as Moss is hunting pronghorn (A prime opportunity), he shoots, wounding one, and then walks over to the location and sees it's left a trail of blood. He then looks on in his binoculars and sees a dog galloping off into the distance, only to look back once, before continuing. Kind of sets up the whole movie nicely, I think.

I have my own theories about the film. Maybe I'll post them soon.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: OmNom on October 22, 2009, 01:04:24 PM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.

I thought I would hate it!  I was *sure* I would hate it.  But I really like it.  I... I... I think I... I think I love it. 

Now I have to read all of these posts in this thread to see what y'all thought.  Make sure I'm not a deviant of some sort for liking this movie. 

Crap.  I love a violent movie.  My soul must be so jaded... Prolly when I die I'll just go straight to hell.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on October 22, 2009, 01:08:13 PM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.

I thought I would hate it!  I was *sure* I would hate it.  But I really like it.  I... I... I think I... I think I love it. 

Now I have to read all of these posts in this thread to see what y'all thought.  Make sure I'm not a deviant of some sort for liking this movie. 

Crap.  I love a violent movie.  My soul must be so jaded... Prolly when I die I'll just go straight to hell.

Glad you revived this thread.  I love talking about this movie.

I'm NOT into violent movies at all, but I still LOVE this one. 

What I love most is how true it is to the original source material.  The novel is a pretty quick read and I recommend it to anyone who dug the film.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on October 22, 2009, 01:09:03 PM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.


I love this feeling.  I have it right now for Where the Wild Things Are.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: 'Noke on October 22, 2009, 04:27:45 PM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.


I love this feeling.  I have it right now for Where the Wild Things AreThe Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: 'Noke on October 22, 2009, 04:29:12 PM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.

I thought I would hate it!  I was *sure* I would hate it.  But I really like it.  I... I... I think I... I think I love it. 

Now I have to read all of these posts in this thread to see what y'all thought.  Make sure I'm not a deviant of some sort for liking this movie. 

Crap.  I love a violent movie.  My soul must be so jaded... Prolly when I die I'll just go straight to hell.

No worries. That means a lot of people, me included, are going straight to hell.

This movie is so magnificent, not only because it's perfectly structured and paced, but the Coen's craft is, much more then their other movies, completely their own and marvelous to behold.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: OmNom on October 24, 2009, 12:33:51 AM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.

I thought I would hate it!  I was *sure* I would hate it.  But I really like it.  I... I... I think I... I think I love it. 

Now I have to read all of these posts in this thread to see what y'all thought.  Make sure I'm not a deviant of some sort for liking this movie. 

Crap.  I love a violent movie.  My soul must be so jaded... Prolly when I die I'll just go straight to hell.

No worries. That means a lot of people, me included, are going straight to hell.

This movie is so magnificent, not only because it's perfectly structured and paced, but the Coen's craft is, much more then their other movies, completely their own and marvelous to behold.
Yes, the pacing really works.

Chigurh in that first motel room, looking for the briefcase... *shiver*.  There is a moment-- where he looks up at the air duct, and we are looking at the back of his head-- when you *know* he is going to find it. 

I nearly stopped breathing.  I knew in that instant that there was simply no hiding from this monster.

The way this scene is created---I dunno what happens to make it so powerful.  It was dark, chilling, glossy, quiet, steady.  I loved it.

Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: OmNom on October 24, 2009, 12:38:35 AM
Wow.  I just watched this movie last night.  I can't stop thinking about it.

I thought I would hate it!  I was *sure* I would hate it.  But I really like it.  I... I... I think I... I think I love it. 

Now I have to read all of these posts in this thread to see what y'all thought.  Make sure I'm not a deviant of some sort for liking this movie. 

Crap.  I love a violent movie.  My soul must be so jaded... Prolly when I die I'll just go straight to hell.

Glad you revived this thread.  I love talking about this movie.

I'm NOT into violent movies at all, but I still LOVE this one. 

What I love most is how true it is to the original source material.  The novel is a pretty quick read and I recommend it to anyone who dug the film.
Yeah!  I need to read it.  I read "All the Pretty Horses" years and years ago, liked it.  I live in the West, love the landscape, love the space and all the "dark desert highway" scenery.  I wonder if I can find NCFOM on Audible... hm...
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Variable on November 07, 2009, 08:56:10 PM
what's your favorite scene/part?

I absolutely love when he blows up the car, robs the pharmacy, and badnages himself. I can't explain why. it's so absolutely perfect.

I may even have already mentioned it in here, I love it that much, but I figured I'd ask what everyone else thought.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: FroHam X on November 08, 2009, 01:22:31 AM
what's your favorite scene/part?

I absolutely love when he blows up the car, robs the pharmacy, and badnages himself. I can't explain why. it's so absolutely perfect.

I may even have already mentioned it in here, I love it that much, but I figured I'd ask what everyone else thought.

I agree. The way he walks away from that explosion with such determination. There is a calm and cool about everything he does, and in that sequence it is even more magnified.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: ferris on November 09, 2009, 02:41:30 PM
what's your favorite scene/part?

I absolutely love when he blows up the car, robs the pharmacy, and badnages himself. I can't explain why. it's so absolutely perfect.

I may even have already mentioned it in here, I love it that much, but I figured I'd ask what everyone else thought.

I agree. The way he walks away from that explosion with such determination. There is a calm and cool about everything he does, and in that sequence it is even more magnified.


The whole early section of Josh Brolin hunting and tracking down the loot.  I love the time the movie took with this.  This is a situation that I think anyone else would have just gotten the heck out there hoping they didn't get seen, but this guy has this ignorant confidence that I just strangely admire.  He knows sometime bad went down and there's some money lose somewhere and he's gonna get it.

You add to this the fact that he goes back to bring water to that dude.  Adds such a strange human component.  You know he was just lying in bed thinking of that guy and just couldn't help but do something.

I love EVERY SECOND that Tommy Lee Jones is on screen.  I think the audience grabs onto his character like a little kids clings to his dad in a haunted house.  Even when TLJ get's fatalistic and and skeptical, there is just a weight and deliberance to him that you just feel like it's gonna be ok, when intellectually you know it's just not.

Very cool
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Verite on November 09, 2009, 03:18:00 PM
what's your favorite scene/part?

Tommy Lee Jones' face and eye movement after delivering the film's final line and the cut to black.
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Colleen on November 09, 2009, 04:18:47 PM
Bardem stalking Brolin in the hotel sequence. 
Title: Re: No Country for Old Men
Post by: Variable on November 10, 2009, 03:14:39 AM
all those parts SUCKED!

hahaha

I wish I had it on DVD so I could watch it in my room. might have to spend some time with this tomorrow afternoon, been almost two months since I've watched any of it.